We are just a few days away from the biggest event of 2019. Not only there gonna be two title fights at UFC 235, but a long-awaited debut is in store for us.
Former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion – Ben Askren (18-0) will set his feet for the very first time in a UFC Octagon.
— BetSmart (@BetSmartSport) February 27, 2019
‘Chunky’ will launch his new career with a fight against former UFC welterweight champ – Robbie Lawler (28-12).
Lawler, once a fan favorite, hasn’t fought since December of 2017 when Rafael dos Anjos came victorious via UD. The 34-year-old Askren, on the other hand, has never lost a professional fight and the last time he was exchanging punches and kicks was in November of 2018, when he KO’d his way through Shinya Aoki.
Yesterday after the staredown Askren talked with MMA Junkie about his game plan or the lack of such.
“I think the opening minutes are critical because Robbie is a fighter who can do a lot of damage quick, and he’s known to come out fast and he fights in sprints,” Askren said at UFC 235 media day. “So coming out and establishing the way I want the fight to be fought is super important. I think it’s about me imposing my will. Closing distance, not taking big punches and getting a hold of him. It’s as simple as that. Once I get ahold of him, man, I don’t think he’s got much of a hope.
I don’t think ring rust is a real thing,” Askren said. “I think it’s kind of an excuse. Obviously, after a poor performance, everyone wants to make an excuse for their poor performance and if that’s just one of them. It’s one of them. I feel good. I think the extra five weeks – because I was supposed to fight Jan. 26 – I think that was helpful. I think initially I was really annoyed about it, but I think it was good. I just felt myself getting better every single week. It’s riding a bicycle. Everything would come back to me timing-wise.”