UFC News: Ben Askren's Potential Opponent For His UFC Debut Has Been Revealed
What's the story?
Many were thrilled when former ONE welterweight champion, Ben Askren, was traded to the UFC and have wondered what the undefeated welterweight’s first fight would be under the UFC banner.
According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Ben Askren’s first bout could possibly be against former welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler.
In case you didn't know...
With a professional record of 18 wins, 0 losses, and 1 no contest, Askren was traded for the inaugural UFC Flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson.
After competing in collegiate wrestling during his high school and college years, Askren transitioned to professional mixed martial arts back in 2009. Askren would go on to compete in Bellator Fighting Championship and eventually captured the Bellator Welterweight Championship in October 2010 by defeating Lyman Good.
Despite being undefeated, Bellator and Askren parted ways due to being unable to come to terms on a contract.
Askren would then make the move to ONE Championship, where he continued his dominance over the welterweight division until he was acquired by the UFC.
The heart of the matter
Since the trade, Askren has been calling out several fighters including UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
However, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has confirmed that UFC President Dana White told him that Askren would probably face former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 233 in January.
Lawler is an accomplished veteran in the UFC, currently holding a record of 28 wins, 12 losses, and 1 no contest. Lawler is currently ranked #5 in the welterweight division and his last fight was against Rafael Dos Anjos in December 2017, a bout he lost in a unanimous decision.
Lawler captured the UFC Welterweight title from Johnny Hendricks at UFC 181 on December 6, 2014. He would successfully defend the belt twice before losing the welterweight championship to Tyron Woodley.
The bout has yet to be made official, but the UFC is incredibly close to making it a done deal. Should this bout be made official, this fight between respected and notable former champions has a chance to steal the show at UFC 233.