Ben Askren (19-1 MMA) suffered the first loss of his professional mixed martial arts career earlier this month at UFC 239.
Askren was knocked out cold just five seconds into the opening round, this after eating a brutal flying knee from his opponent Jorge Masvidal.
The devastating setback set a UFC record for fastest knockout in promotional history, and also sent ‘Funky’ tumbling down the welterweight rankings.
With that said, many fans and analysts were more than curious to see who the promotion would match Ben Askren up with next.
Well, it appears that we now have that answer, as ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that the UFC is discussing booking the former Bellator and ONE champion in a fight with submission ace Demian Maia.
“UFC is currently discussing booking Ben Askren vs. Demian Maia once Askren’s medical suspension is up in September, according to sources.” – Ariel Helwani
Demian Maia (27-9 MMA) is currently riding a two-fight win streak, his latest being a unanimous decision victory over Anthony Rocco Martin at June’s event in Minneapolis.
Prior to his victory over Martin, the Brazilian was coming off a first round submission victory over Lyman Good, which occurred in February.
As for Ben Askren, prior to being KO’d by Jorge Masvidal, ‘Funky’ was coming off a controversial submission victory over Robbie Lawler in his octagon debut.
Askren has battled submission specialists in the past, most recently Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in November of 2017, a fight Ben won via first round TKO.
While Ben Askren vs. Demian Maia is definitely a fascinating matchup, many fans were hoping to see ‘Funky’ take on former title challenger Darren Till in his next outing.
With that said, Till recently teased a move up to middleweight, so that could be the reason why the promotion went in a different direction.
Who do you think will emerge victorious if Ben Askren and Demian Maia square off later this year? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com July 23, 2019