Prediction: Michael Johnson over Stevie Ray by KO. Demian Maia and Ben Askren are near the top of the sport in their respective disciplines with Askren being one of the best collegiate wrestlers in the promotion and Maia being one of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the world. UFC on ESPN+ 20: Maia vs. Askren full card preview and predictions Shan Panjwani / October 26, 2019 Tomorrow morning’s UFC Singapore card is a sneaky good one.
Mn gambling rules. Ben Askren takes on Demian Maia in the main event of UFC Singapore on October 26th. Ben Askren, who came into the UFC with an unbeaten record and multiple organization championship in his resume, finds himself in a peculiar position going into this fight with former number one title contender, Demian Maia.
Although the loss against Jorge Masvidal was the first loss in Askren’s MMA career it has cost him dearly by derailing him from the path to a title shot. However, a win over UFC veteran, Demian Maia would make a strong case that Ben Askren is good enough to compete at the highest level. On the other hand, coming off two wins, Demian Maia would try to keep the momentum for another crack at the UFC title.
Both Ben Askren and Demian Maia are two of the elite grapplers in UFC at the moment and that makes it very difficult to give a prediction for this fight. However, here is what some of the UFC fighters think about the matchup between ben Askren and Demian Maia.
In a recent interview with ScoreMMA, UFC lightweight, Kevin Lee predicted Askren to dominate Maia with his wrestling and said:
“I am gonna go with ben. I got to go with wrestling over jiu-jitsu. So Ben Askren in that one.”
UFC welterweight, Stephen Thompson is also leaning towards Askren to get the job done:
“To be honest with you, I think Ben Askren got it. I think he is going to outwrestle Demian Maia. Demian Maia, he does use his grappling, he loves the top game, he is okay off his back, he has got his submissions, but I think Ben Askren’s pressure, I think he is going to outwrestle him and come out with a W”.
UFC heavyweight, Curtis Blaydes picked the Funky One to rag doll Maia as he said:
“Askren is going to rag doll him. I think Askren just takes him down, takes him down again, even though Demian is better off his back, I think he takes him down, stays safe, wins the round.”
Former UFC champion, Tyron Woodley makes a huge claim by saying :
“Ben Askren is gonna school Demian Maia. Jake Shields kind of wrote the book on how to …You get to get Damian Maia to the mat, you can not be in his half guard but you get to get him to the ground. You got to pressure him because if you allow him to do it to you, he is long, he is static he can hang there, and Ben did extremely well against Jake Shields.“
Askren’s rival and former interim welterweight champion, Colby Covington blasts Askren by saying ” he sucks at fighting“. Covington predicted:
“I see Damian Maia get the submission or knocking him out. It’s either going to be a submission or knock out for Damian Maia. Askren has no chin. he sucks at fighting. Literally, he could not hurt a fly, sitting on someone’s mouth for five rounds and could not put a scratch on the guy’s face.“
UFC lightweight, Dan Hooker predicted:
“I think Maia is going to put on a striking clinic. I feel like it’s kind of cancels it out. Demian Maia is not really the kind of guy you want to take down. This is the guy who went 5 rounds with on the peak Anderson Silva, I think he is of a higher level caliber striking than Ben Askren. I think he puts on a striking”
UFC welterweight, James Vick favored Askren’s wrestling to Maia’s grappling when he said:
“This is a good match up for Demian Maia. Because he can win the fight on the back. He is probably going to get taken down. I don’t see he is going to stop all of Askren’s takedown. But he is a guy who can legit win on his back. Askren has probably 10 years of Jiu-Jitsu already under his belt too. He is not a blue belt wrestler, he is a black belt wrestler. I am gonna go with Askren. As good as Demian Maia’s jiu-jitsu is he has lost 5 round fights with Jake Shields. I am gonna take Askren”
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Tomorrow morning’s UFC Singapore card is a sneaky good one. The main event between former Bellator and ONE Welterweight champion and former UFC Welterweight and Middleweight title challenger Demian Maia is a scintillating fight that will either be terrible, or a true grappler’s delight. If it’s the latter, it could be an ideal way to cap of what should be an entertaining card. The rest of the card is full of fun matchups from the first prelim through the co-main event, featuring the likes of Michael Johnson, Beneil Dariush, Frank Camacho, and various other UFC veterans and enjoyable prospects. All in all, it’s a solid, light card with a lot of potential for entertainment.
Preliminary card (5am/4am CT, ESPN+)
Raphael Pessoa (9-1) vs. Jeff Hughes (10-2, 1 NC)
In August, Pessoa made his UFC debut as fodder for Ciryl Gane, who is fighting on the main card. Pessoa predictably lost, but is a dangerous fighter nonetheless, having finished seven of his nine victims, six of them via knockout. He packs a punch and if he lands flush, he can end Hughes’ night. Unfortunately for him, Hughes has a pretty good chin.
Hughes also needs a win, having gone 0-1 with a no contest in his first two UFC fights. A former Legacy Heavyweight champion, Hughes has the tools to stick around in the UFC and his only loss via finish came against TUF veteran Dan Spohn in the fifth round of a fight that took place almost three years ago. Hughes is solid, albeit unspectacular, and should win as long as he doesn’t get caught. Prediction: Hughes via decision.
Loma Lookboonmee (3-1) vs. Aleksandra Albu (3-1)
This is an Invicta fight if I’ve ever seen one. Lookboonmee has solid striking chops, but is an Atomweight and is very raw. Albu’s been a member of the roster since late 2013, but is entering just her fourth UFC fight. She was signed just months after making her pro debut, and not due to her actual fighting abilities. She’s the bigger and more experienced fighter, but nobody even knows if she’s even Invicta level at this point. At least Loma can say that she is, and I’ll pick her to get the upset. Prediction: Loma via decision.
Sergei Pavlovich (13-1) vs. Maurice Greene (8-2)
Greene is a solid grappler with half his wins coming via submission, and is 3-0 in the UFC. Pavlovich is 13-1, has ten first round finishes due to strikes, and his only loss came in his UFC debut against Alistair Overeem. Pavlovich, who was the Fight Nights Global Heavyweight champion not long ago, has what it takes to be a ranked Heavyweight in due time. Greene is solid and has done better in the UFC than expected, but I think he’ll fall short in this one. Prediction: Pavlovich via tko, round 2.
Enrique Barzola vs. Movsar Evloev (11-0)
Up next is a very good Bantamweight contest that should be on the main card, but isn’t, due to the likelihood of it going the distance. Evloev is unbeaten and well-rounded, having finished seven of his fights, while possessing a solid gas tank. The former M-1 Bantamweight champion looked good in his UFC debut in April and will look to keep his unbeaten record intact. Barzola is the TUF: Latin America 2 Lightweight winner and is 6-2 in the UFC, but has gone the distance in 10 of his last 11 bouts. This one will likely go the same way, and is a coin flip. I’ll go with Barzola, but an Evloev win should surprise no one. Prediction: Barzola via decision.
Alex White (13-5) vs. Rafael Fiziev (6-1)
Buckle up your seatbelts, because this fight has all the makings of being a highlight machine. Fiziev has never gone the distance, with six of his seven pro bouts ending in the first round. White has finished 10 of his 13 wins and desperately needs a win, as he’s five of his last eight fights. I’ll pick him to get the win, although neither fighter pulling off a finish wouldn’t be a surprise at all. Prediction: White via tko, round 3.
Randa Markos (9-7-1) vs. Ashley Yoder (7-4)
In the headlining prelim bout, former TUF contestants will battle, as TUF 20 contestant Randa Markos will take on TUF 23 contestant Ashley Yoder. Markos hasn’t had a winning or losing streak since her third pro fight, is 5-6-1 in the UFC, and is coming off a loss. Based on that, she should win this fight, right? Well, Yoder has won two straight and has the momentum heading into this fight. Both women are solid grapplers with decent gas tanks, and have been finished just one time in their combined careers. It really is a toss-up, as is the case with the vast majority of the fights on this card, but I’ll pick Markos. I have no confidence in my pick whatsoever, but it is what it is. Prediction: Markos via decision.
Main card (8am/7am CT, ESPN+)
Maia Vs Askren Predictions Bleacher Report
Muslim Salikhov vs. Laureano Staropoli (9-1)
The main card’s opening bout will be a striker’s delight. Salikhov is a Wushu ace with nearly 200 kickboxing bouts to his credit, and has finished 14 if his 15 UFC wins, with 12 of them coming via knockout. All but one of his finishes has come in the first round, and he’s 2-1 in the UFC. As for Staropoli, the Argentinian came to the UFC a year ago, having never gone the distance. He has since fought twice, winning both fights via decision, and looked great against the vastly more experienced Thiago Alves in May. Now he has a chance to go to 3-0 in the UFC and therefore turn himself into a must-see prospect. I think Salikhov will finish him, but the fans should be in for a treat with this one. Prediction: Salikhov via tko, round 2.
Ciryl Gane (4-0) vs. Don’tale Mayes (7-2, 1 NC)
Oh, the treatment one can get by being a highly viewed training partner for Francis Ngannou. In August, despite being a pro for just a year and having only three pro fights to his credit, he made his UFC debut on the main card and will do so again on this card. The UFC clearly views him as a blue chip prospect and I can’t blame them. He’s unbeaten, has finished all his fights, has big-time potential and is fun to watch. As for Mayes, the former Dana White Contender Series contestant has won four straight fights. He’s never beaten anyone of note, but does have five finishes to his credit. He’ll likely lose this fight, but should still be a decent test for Gane. Prediction: Gane via tko, round 2.
Beneil Dariush (16-4-1) vs. Frank Camacho (22-7)
The featured bout will likely be the most entertaining fight of the night. Both Beneil Darius and Frank Camacho have a penchant for putting on highlight-reel performances, having finished a combined 29 of their 38 total wins. Camacho is a true knockout artist, while Dariush is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt with legit Muay Thai credentials.
Dariush has been shaky in recent years, but is clearly the more balanced fighter of the two, with a notable advantage on the ground. Camacho can finish him, but I’m expecting this fight to be a repeat of Dariush’s most recent fight, in which he got rocked by Drew Dober, but pulled off a comeback that was capped off with a submission win. History doesn’t always repeat itself, but I’m expecting it on this occasion. Prediction: Dariush via submission, round 2.
Michael Johnson (19-14) vs. Stevie Ray (22-9)
In the co-main event, former TUF Finalist Michael Johnson will look to rebound from a brutal knockout loss in March when he takes on Steve Ray. In March, Johnson was 46-seconds away from winning a decision against Josh Emmett and earning his third straight win. However, he got finished in the final minute, and has lost six of his last nine overall. It was just his second ever finish loss due to strikes, and now he’s back in must-win territory.
Ben Askren Vs Maia Predictions
Ray is also in a must-win position, having lost three of four since starting 5-1 in his first six UFC fights. Like Johnson, he’s been finished due to strikes twice in his last three losses. Unlike Johnson, he’s a good grappler, while Johnson has been submitted eight times in his career. It’s all too likely that Johnson will succumb to a submission here, but I can’t shake the feeling that this is his fight to lose. As long as he hasn’t completely checked out, I think he’ll prevail. If he doesn’t, then it’s entirely possible that he’ll get cut. Prediction: Johnson via decision.
Demian Maia (27-9) vs. Ben Askren (19-1, 1 NC)
In the main event of the evening, fourth-degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and two-time UFC title challenger Demian Maia will face former NCAA Division 1 All-American, former Bellator and ONE Welterweight champion Ben Askren in what could be an amazing grapple-heavy fight. Askren, who was once viewed as a boring fighter, has gone the distance just once in his last 11 fights. He’s a fantastic wrestler, has improved his striking, and is coming off the first loss of his career.
Ufc Fight Night Maia Vs Askren Predictions
As for Maia, the BJJ wizard is a few weeks away from turning 42, and is coming off his second-straight victory. He’s 21-9 in the UFC, has challenged for two titles in his UFC career, and a win would put him back in contention.
Maia Vs Askren Predictions Ncaa Basketball
This fight will either be a fascinating grappling bout or an awkward kickboxing match. If it’s the former, then Askren will likely have the edge, although Maia is the better submission ace by far. On the feet, it’s pretty much a toss-up. I’ll pick Askren to get the decision, but a Maia win would be awesome to be honest. Prediction: Askren via decision.