With UFC 233’s cancellation on Wednesday, fights that were booked for that event needed to be moved ASAP, and the biggest one from that card has a new home.
The UFC announced on Thursday that former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren will have his Octagon debut vs. Robbie Lawler delayed to UFC 235 on March 2nd.
Askren (18-0, 1 NC) joined the UFC as part of the “trade” between ONE and the UFC that led to former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson going to the Asian MMA organization. As for Askren, he had been semi-retired but willing to return to the sport for big fight opportunities, which the UFC obviously presents for him. The dominant wrestler’s last appearance in the cage was a 57-second TKO of Shinya Aoki at ONE Championship in November 2017.
Lawler (28-12, 1 NC) hasn’t fought since losing by unanimous decision to Rafael dos Anjos last December. He missed all of 2018 due to a torn ACL suffered in that fight. The former UFC welterweight champion will look for his first win since a unanimous decision vs. Donald Cerrone in July 2017.
UFC 235 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. While no main event has been announced, the card is also expected to feature Nick Diaz’s return to the Octagon against Jorge Masvidal. The night’s main card airs live on pay-per-view.