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UFC on ESPN+ 20: 41 year old Demian Maia chokes out Ben Askren

Maia still a force on the ground

Ben Askren (19-2-0) had no one to blame but himself after getting submitted by BJJ ace Demian Maia (28-9-0) in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 20 in Singapore.

Maia scored with some striking early, perhaps catching Askren off guard, but the former ONE welterweight champion returned fire, earning a stalemate on the ground until the third round. Maia secured a rear-naked choke and with literally one arm, choked Askren out. Referee Herb Dean called the bout at 3:54 of the third round.

The win was the third consecutive win for Maia, 41, who reinforced his reputation as the best BJJ grappler in the UFC.

Askren, 35, now falls to 1-2-0 in the octagon, after a spotless 19-0-0 coming in. He came in to great fanfare, as he was traded for former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. He took a controversial victory over Robbie Lawler in his March 2019 debut at UFC 235, but the critics are now focusing on his past two defeats.

“We had obviously trained so much back in camp. I had a really good jiu-jitsu guy,” Askren said on the UFC on ESPN+ 20 post amble show. “I guess I was overconfident. I guess there’s a reason why he’s the best grappler in the division, possibly in MMA ever. I was fairly confident that I was gonna get the reversal, but I didn’t, and I failed, and obviously that was the outcome.”

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1188117872511336448?s=20

Maia and Askren earned Fight of the Night, while Ciryl Gane and Beneil Dariush earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Kenai Andrews shares his thoughts on the main card.

In case you missed the prelims:

RAPHAEL PESSOA NUNES DEF. JEFF HUGHES VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

LOMA LOOKBOONMEE DEF. ALEKSANDRA ALBU VIA SD (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

SERGEI PAVLOVICH DEF. MAURICE GREENE VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 2:11

MOVSAR EVLOEV DEF. ENRIQUE BARZOLA VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

RAFAEL FIZIEV DEF. ALEX WHITE VIA UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

RANDA MARKOS DEF. ASHLEY YODER VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

MAIN CARD

MUSLIM SALIKHOV VS. LAUREANO STAROPOLI

WINNER: MUSLIM SALIKHOV VIA UD (30-26, 30-26, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MUSLIM SALIKHOV VIA UD

Andrews: Salikhov piled up the points, as expected.

CIRYL GANE VS. DON’TALE MYERS 

WINNER: CIRYL GANE VIA SUBMISSION (HEEL HOOK) R3 4:46

ANDREWS PREDICTION: CIRYL GANE VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Wow! Gane can knock you out but prefers to make you tap.

FRANK CAMACHO VS. BENEIL DARIUSH

WINNER: BENEIL DARIUSH VIA SUBMISSION R1 2:02

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BENEIL DARIUSH VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Dariush did his homework and came away with an impressively clean and tidy tap.

MICHAEL JOHNSON VS. STEVEN RAY

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1188097422930481152?s=20

WINNER: STEVEN RAY VIA MD (29-28, 29-28, 28-28) 

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MICHAEL JOHNSON VIA UD

Andrews: Johnson at 33, has plenty of fight in him. But give Ray a lot of credit for overcoming Johnson. He earned it.

MAIN EVENT

#10 DEMIAN MAIA VS. #11 BEN ASKREN

WINNER: DEMIAN MAIA VIA SUBMISSION (REAR-NAKED CHOKE) R3 3:54

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BEN ASKREN VIA UD

Andrews: Well, that sucked again. But Ben will get a least one more shot.

@kenaiandrews

Categories
ExtrafeaturenewsUFC

Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.
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