Ben Askren’s UFC debut delayed
Ben Askren has waited five years to compete inside the Octagon and the undefeated welterweight will have to wait a few weeks more. That’s because UFC 233 has been cancelled, meaning that his fight with Robbie Lawler will have to be accommodated on another card.
Askren holds an impressive 18-0-1 record and his last seven fights have all been in Asia. He was the reigning ONE Championship welterweight champion, a title he also held with Bellator and is regarded by many as being the best fighter in the division.
The multiple time NCAA Division 1 wrestling champion had originally been scheduled to face Lawler on January 26th in Anaheim. That show has been scrapped but the fight is still in the works and Askren told ESPN he was hoping it would be moved to March 7th.
That is the date of UFC Fight Night 143 which is set for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Askren’s fight with Lawler will be his first in the US since 2014 when he successfully defended his Bellator welterweight belt for the fourth and final time.
Askren moved from ONE Championship to the UFC as part of an unprecedented trade which saw Demetrious Johnson head in the opposite direction. The former UFC flyweight champion is likely to make his promotional debut in Tokyo on March 31st.