It looks as if Ben Askren has his first UFC fight, and just like UFC president Dana White suggested it would be, it’s a top five opponent.
In a report by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Askren will be making his promotional debut on January 26 in Anaheim, California at UFC 233 against former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. It marks Lawler’s first fight since suffering a torn ACL last December in a bout with Rafael Dos Anjos.
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
Lots of welterweights breathing easy right about now. Don’t worry your times will come! https://t.co/8xDJwIC7VZ
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) November 6, 2018
It also means Askren is meeting with the one member of the top five welterweights in the UFC’s 170-pound division who he doesn’t have any issues with. Since his trade to the UFC, Askren has gone on a promotional tour and repeatedly lobbed insults at his peers, such as Darren Till, Colby Covington and more.
In a media scrum backstage at UFC 230, Askren said of the former champion: “Lawler, he seems like a nice guy. I actually like him, but I’ll fight him, no big deal.”