Will Ben Askren Live Up To Expectations At UFC 233?
There is a lot of excitement and anticipation about Ben Askren finally signing with the UFC. It is rumored that he will fight former UFC champ Robbie Lawler at UFC 233, which would be a great fight for the fans to see in the unbeaten fighter’s promotional debut. It is going to be a brutal test for Askren as they does not come any tougher than the “Ruthless” one. If he can pass his first test it will set up some amazing match ups, and hopefully, we will get see Askren face Khabib Nurmagomedov to see who the ultimate ground is and pound king of the world.
Since signing with the UFC, Askren has called out the whole of the division, apart from his training buddy Tyron Woodley and his next expected opponent Robbie Lawler. The contest between the two is scheduled for the 26th of January in Anaheim, California. Funky is the favorites with sports betting sites with sportsbook in New Jersey pricing him at 10/3 and Lawler at 5/2.
Recently Askren was quoted that he thought he would probably fight Lawler in his debut along with other MMA news sources reporting that the deal has been done. We are still waiting for an official announcement from Dana White and the UFC, but this is expected shortly once the other headliners have been finalized.
There is a lot expected from Askren in his first fight in the UFC, due to his unbelievable resume that includes two Championships belts with both Bellator and ONE Championship. Many fight fans in the know, along with UFC commentator and podcast presenter Joe Rogan, have been calling for Dana White to put his differences aside with “Funky” Ben and sign him to the UFC. The deal happened unexpectedly and was the first trade deal between the UFC along with another fighting organization. All parties are happy with the deal and Demetrious Johnson gets his chance to create a new legacy in Asia.
Robbie Lawler may not be the fighter he once was but he still possesses thunder in his hands and will be the best striker that Askren has ever faced. Lawler has not had a fight in the UFC since December 2017 , when he lost to Rafael Dos Anjos on points. He tore his ACL during that fight and has been carrying out extensive rehab to get over it. He now says he is 100% fit so hopefully, we will see the best version of him at UFC 233.
It has been even longer since Askren last fought, but only by 1 month, as he defended his ONE Championship belt back in November of 2017. Askren was able to take care of business in less than 1 minute against the legendary Shinya Aoki. If he can do a repeat of against Lawler it will send the hyper train into overload. Askren’s training partner Woodley won his belt by beating Lawler in devastating fashion early on, so that will fill “Funky’s” confidence he will be able to do the same. But, only time will tell if he lives up to the hype.