Ben Askren’s UFC career looks over after Demian Maia choked him out…
It’s fair to say that this isn’t how Ben Askren imagined things would go. He came into the UFC with a massive reputation. As a former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion, his wrestling was the stuff of legend. But now the 35-year-old has had the worst year of his career.
‘Funky’ was 18-0 before coming into the UFC. But his record with the world’s biggest MMA promotion is much less impressive. He now stands at 1-2, with his only victory a controversial submission win over Robbie Lawlor. Then Jorge Masvidal brutally knocked him out cold.
Now Demian Maia has put his stamp on Askren’s career. He’s the first man to submit the RoufusSport man. The pair fought in the main event of UFC Singapore. Check out the finish below.
— MMA India (@MMAIndiaShow) October 26, 2019
This was a very close fight. For a long time, it was the oddest kickboxing match of all-time, with two grapplers throwing hands at each other. Askren’s game plan was to close the distance, engage the clinch and dirty box. However, the problem is that if you take Demian Maia down, you bring the Brazilian into his world.
As arguably the great BJJ artist to fight in the UFC, Maia presented a unique threat. Twitter audiences seemed split over the two first rounds. Some were giving them to Maia because he was landing more shots. His straight left, in particular, was very dangerous. It’s probably just as well Askren never fought Darren Till because his defence was nonexistent.
It's @BenAskren who takes it to the mat first!
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 26, 2019
However, Askren was able to close the distance and use his uppercuts to great effect. He pushed a hard pace in the first couple of rounds before visibly slowing down in the third. Round two saw him take Maia down and the pair went through an exciting transition phase, which had the Singaporean crowd on their feet.
The third round was going the same way. We had Askren ahead because of his pace and takedowns, but it’s reasonable if you think Maia was winning. However, the Brazilian sealed the deal when Askren took him down. He was able to transition and took the American’s back. From there, Askren was in a world of trouble. Maia locked in the choke. Although Askren tried to tap out, he was already out cold before Herb Dean intervened.
— UFC (@ufc) October 26, 2019
When he came into the UFC, Askren was massively hyped. He said all the right things and had people excited about him. But relatively speaking he’s had one of the worst starts to a career possible. Two straight losses put him out of the title picture. He may be tempted to retire for good. Credit to Demian Maia who is now on a three-fight winning streak.
You can bet that Dana White will be feeling smug about this too. The UFC has been using the Masvidal flying knee KO to promote the BMF title fight next weekend. They literally played it before Askren walked out. Furthermore, it shows that there’s definitely a talent gap between the UFC and its rivals.