The UFC is busy filling out its schedule for the first quarter of 2021, and there’s a flyweight matchup that’s on deck for March.
Benavidez (28-7) has challenged for the UFC belt on four occasions but unfortunately has come up on the losing end every single time. He was bested twice by Demetrious Johnson and twice by current champion Deiveson Figueiredo. In his first meeting with Figueiredo, the Brazilian missed weight and thus no belt was awarded after he knocked out Benavidez, but the July rematch was about as one-sided a one-round fight as you’ll ever see. Benavidez was knocked down multiple times before losing by rear-naked choke. His last win came by TKO against Jussier Formiga to cap off a three-fight streak.
Askarov (12-0-1) recently picked up an impressive decision win over Alexandre Pantoja at UFC Fight Island 2. The former ACB champion debuted back in 2019, battling to a draw with upcoming title challenger Brandon Moreno. He also notched a decision victory against former title challenger Tim Elliott at UFC 246. Current rankings have the Russian at #5 and Benavidez at #2, so Askarov can really further his case for a title shot with a win over Benavidez.