Ben Askren’s first fight in UFC might be just about set. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto tweeted Monday that a fight between Askren and Robbie Lawler is being targeted for UFC 233. The event is scheduled for Jan. 26 at Anaheim’s Honda Center.
Askren was sent to UFC last month in a trade that saw former UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson head to Askren’s former home at ONE Championship. Askren had been lobbying hard for a fight with Darren Till, but it looks like Lawler will be his first UFC challenge.
Breaking: Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler targeted for UFC 233 on Jan. 26 in Anaheim, per Dana White. Contracts are not signed yet from what I'm told, but UFC is working on getting it finalized. Story up soon on @ESPN.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 6, 2018
Lawler is a former UFC welterweight champ, but has been on the sidelines since a Dec. 2017 loss to Rafael dos Anjos. Formerly one of UFC’s most active and exciting fighters, Lawler has fought just twice since losing his championship in July 2016 to Tyron Woodley – a July 2017 win over Donald Cerrone and the aforementioned loss to dos Anjos.
Askren has also spent the last year or so out of the cage after retiring following a win over Shinya Aoki in ONE. Askren remains undefeated through nineteen MMA fights.
No other fights have been officially announced for UFC 233 as of yet. The card will air on pay-per-view.