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Report: UFC planning to book Ben Askren against Demian Maia

According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC is planning to book Ben Askren against Demian Maia, once “Funky” is medically cleared to fight by September.

UFC 239: Weigh-ins Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Just a little over two weeks since his brain-shaking knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239, the UFC is reportedly planning a fight for Ben Askren already. According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, “Funky” will be matched up against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Demian Maia once he is cleared to fight again by September.

Askren was dealt his career first loss by “Gamebred” in just five seconds of action, setting a new record for the fastest knockout in UFC history. Prior to the loss, he held a 19-0 slate, winning championship belts in Bellator and ONE. His UFC debut was a controversial victory against Robbie Lawler in his UFC debut at UFC 235 in March.

The 41-year-old Maia, meanwhile, went on a three-fight skid since losing a title bout to then champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 214 in July 2017. He has since been able to bounce back with two wins, his most recent one against Anthony Rocco Martin at UFC Minneapolis in late June.