Rumors confirmed. Ben Askren will officially make his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut on January 26, 2019 when he takes on former Welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler, at UFC 233 inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
“Funky” was acquired by the promotion from ONE Championship a few weeks back in a historic trade which saw UFC send Demetrious Johnson overseas in exchange for the powerhouse wrestler.
Askren has long been one of the most dominate Welterweights in the world, winning world titles under the ONE and Bellator MMA umbrellas en route to a perfect 18-0-1 record. Still, many have questioned how “Funky” would do with the best 170-pounders UFC has to offer, though those answers never came due to Ben and Dana White’s past beef.
Now, Askren will look to make a splash in his Octagon debut against one of the heaviest hitters in the game. Indeed, Lawler has made a name for himself thanks to his knockout power and thrilling performances. But the “Ruthless” one hasn’t been inside the Octagon in close to a year after suffering a unanimous decision loss to Rafael dos Anjos in December of 2017.
A return bout against Askren isn’t the easiest of tasks, but Lawler, I’m sure, would love nothing more than to spoil Ben’s welcome party in sunny California.
UFC 233 currently features what could very well be the final Flyweight title fight for the company, as Henry Cejudo puts his 125-pound belt on the line against current bantamweight king, T.J. Dillashaw. Elsewhere on the card, Paul Felder will collide with James Vick.
Should the stars align, the event could be headlined by a much-anticipated Welterweight title fight between division king, Tyron Woodley, and interim champion Colby Covington.