Former Bellator and ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren (18-0) will finally make his much-awaited UFC debut at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday.
The undefeated 34-year-old Phoenix, Arizona native is scheduled to lock horns against former EliteXC Middleweight Champion and UFC Welterweight kingpin Robbie “Ruthless” Lawler (28-12).
Askren, a former Olympian and College National Champion in wrestling, has dominated the sport outside the UFC and is oozing with confidence leading into his coming out party with the world’s premier MMA outfit.
Lawler, who is the former UFC welterweight top dog and is returning after more than a year absence, wants no part other than raining on Askren’s parade and playing the role of party pooper.
Askren is undefeated in his 18 matches as a pro and was superb in his last bout at ONE: IMMORTAL PURSUIT in Singapore when he successfully defended his ONE Welterweight World Title by knocking out Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in the first round.
Askren imposed his superior strength, outperformed Aoki from the opening bell leading to his sixth knockout victory as a pro.
On the other hand, Lawler looks to start his 2019 on a high note after losing in his last match against former world champion Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil at UFC on FOX 26 back in November of 2017.
Prior to his loss against Dos Anjos, Lawler has won six of his last seven bouts and has showcased his much-improved overall game which led him on capturing his first UFC World Title when he defeated Johnny Hendricks at UFC 181 .
This matchup is definitely your classic clash of styles match as both athletes are known to constantly look to finish every opponent and has the makings of a Fight of the Night candidate that can steal the show.
Askren is one of the most dangerous wrestlers and grapplers in the planet, while Lawler is a striking beast with 20 of his 28 wins came from KO and TKO.
With both competitors eager to start their 2019 campaign with a win, fans will be treated to a high-level mixed martial arts matchup on the 2nd of March.
No. 6-ranked welterweight contender
20 of 28 wins via KO (1 submission)
Former welterweight champion (2 defenses)
12 first-round finishes
Has defeated Donald Cerrone, Carlos Condit, Rory Macdonald and Johny Hendricks
intends to prove that he can compete with the best in the world by taking out one of the most feared men in the UFC
Undefeated at 18-0
6 wins via KO, 5 via submission
Four-time NCAA All-American in wrestling, 2006/2007 National Champion
2008 Olympic wrestling team member
Finished 7 of his last 8 wins