Former Bellator and ONE champion Ben Askren is set to headline UFC Singapore opposite Demian Maia on Oct. 26 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the bout on Tuesday night, following a social media post by Askren that said, “Done deal! Oct. 26 we will find out who the best MMA grappler on planet earth is.”
Askren enters the fight coming off of the first loss of his professional career. He rocketed to the top of the Bellator welterweight division, winning that promotion’s 170-pound championship and defending it four times before vacating the belt and signing with Souteast Asia’s ONE Championship.
Askren (19-1, 1NC) won the welterweight title in his second bout for ONE Championship. He defended the belt on three occasions under ONE’s modified weight cutting rules, which meant the weight class was 185 pounds at weigh-ins.
Askren is currently 1-1 under the UFC banner, defeating Robbie Lawler in controversial fashion in his Octagon debut before getting knocked out by Jorge Masvidal in 5 seconds.
He’ll look to rebound against Maia (27-9), who at 41 years of age, has proven to be one of the most resilient fighters on the UFC roster.
Maia began his tenure at UFC 77 in 2007 as a middleweight fighter and has remained in the Octagon for well beyond a decade. He challenged Anderson Silva for the middleweight title and Tyron Woodley for the welterweight championship, but failed on both occasions.
Having emerged from a three-fight skid, Maia has won his last two fights. He looks to make Askren his third consecutive victory, as he fights to remain in the upper echelon of the UFC welterweight division.
Done deal! Oct 26 we will find out who the best MMA grappler on planet earth is. pic.twitter.com/mzExZDg7MK
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) August 20, 2019