Dan Hardy believes a potential matchup between Ben Askren and Demian Maia is quite intriguing.
Askren is coming off the first loss of his professional mixed martial arts career. He was knocked out in five seconds courtesy of Jorge Masvidal’s flying knee. This set a record for the fastest knockout in UFC history. Meanwhile, Maia is coming off a majority decision victory over Anthony Rocco Martin.
Speaking to RJ Clifford on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation, Hardy explained why he’s down to see Askren vs. Maia.
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) July 24, 2019
“Oh I love it. I think it’s a fascinating fight because the one thing that Askren wants to do, which is wrestle, is the one thing you don’t really want to do against Demian Maia. And with Demian Maia’s game, the one thing he has to do in order to play his game is to wrestle his opponent to the ground so he can strangle them. That’s where Askren kinda dictates the pace of this fight.”
As “fascinating” a fight as Hardy thinks Askren vs. Maia would be, he also has his worries.
“My concern is that Askren’s gonna decide to use his wrestling to keep this fight standing, then we’re gonna see a display of the worst striking in the welterweight division from two guys that really want to be grappling but just neither of them want to take the risk. Although this is the kind of fight where Askren rises to the occasion and takes risks that most people would expect him not to.
“Like if you were Askren, the smart thing to do is to stuff those takedowns and keep it standing,” Hardy continued. “But knowing Askren, he’s gonna go out there, he’s gonna take Demian Maia and dominate him on the mat. And that might make this fight very interesting because I think Demian Maia’s got an understanding of how to manipulate people on the floor that it just might be on the polar opposite end of grappling to what Ben Askren’s used to and it might cause him issues. I think it’s a fascinating one.”
Do you think Ben Askren will look to keep it standing in a bout with Demian Maia, or will he try to keep Maia grounded?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/25/2019.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM