A huge welterweight showdown is being targeted for UFC 233 as Ben Askren is expected to make his Octagon debut against former champion Robbie Lawler.
Sources close to the contest confirmed the news on Monday following an initial report from UFC Dana White via ESPN. At this time, the fight has been offered and verbally accepted, although no bout agreements have been issued or signed at this time.
Assuming the bout gets finalized, Askren would make his first appearance in the UFC in early 2019 after joining the promotion as part of a trade that sent former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship.
Askren is undefeated as a professional while holding titles in both Bellator MMA and ONE Championship and he’s a former two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion and 2008 Olympian.
As for Lawler, the former welterweight champion has been out of action since last year when he lost a unanimous decision to Rafael dos Anjos while suffering a torn ACL in his knee during the fight.
Lawler had surgery and was expected to miss most of 2018 while dealing with recovery from his injured knee.
Now it appears Lawler is ready to fight again and welcome Askren to the UFC with the welterweights expected to square off on Jan. 26 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. as part of the first UFC pay-per-view in 2019.
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