After Ben Askren got knocked out to Jorge Masvidal in just five seconds, many wondered what was next for him.
It appears we know now what it is as according to Ariel Helwani, the UFC has shown interest in booking Askren vs. Demian Maia once “Funky’s” medical suspension is up. It would be an interesting fight given both use their wrestling and grappling to an elite-level. For former UFC fighter, Dan Hardy, he would be very interested in the fight.
“Oh I love it. I think it’s a fascinating fight because the one thing that Askren wants to do, which is wrestle, is the one thing you don’t really want to do against Demian Maia,” Hardy said on Sirius XM. And with Demian Maia’s game, the one thing he has to do in order to play his game is to wrestle his opponent to the ground so he can strangle them. That’s where Askren kinda dictates the pace of this fight.”
Although he thinks it is an interesting fight, Hardy believes it could very well be a boring fight as Askren may not want to go to the ground with Maia.
“My concern is that Askren’s gonna decide to use his wrestling to keep this fight standing, then we’re gonna see a display of the worst striking in the welterweight division from two guys that really want to be grappling but just neither of them want to take the risk. Although this is the kind of fight where Askren rises to the occasion and takes risks that most people would expect him not to.
“Like if you were Askren, the smart thing to do is to stuff those takedowns and keep it standing,” Hardy continued. “But knowing Askren, he’s gonna go out there, he’s gonna take Demian Maia and dominate him on the mat. And that might make this fight very interesting because I think Demian Maia’s got an understanding of how to manipulate people on the floor that it just might be on the polar opposite end of grappling to what Ben Askren’s used to and it might cause him issues. I think it’s a fascinating one.”