‘Most overrated fighter of all time’: Ben Askren roasted after defeat to Demian Maia at UFC Singapore
Coming off the back of a record five-second demolition at the knee of Jorge Masvidal in his last fight, Askren was desperate to restore some momentum – and credibility – as he faced 41-year-old Maia in the welterweight main event at UFC Fight Night 162 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
An entertaining fight ebbed back and forth before former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champ Maia imposed his grappling superiority with around a minute to go in the third round, locking on a rear-naked choke that forced Askren to tap out.
It was an incredible 22nd victory in the UFC for Maia, who has compiled a 28-9 overall pro record in his near two-decade career.
But for Askren, it was a second defeat in three bouts since he arrived in the UFC ranks as an unbeaten former Bellator and ONE Championship title holder – having been traded to the UFC from the latter organization, with Demetrious Johnson heading the other way.
Askren had arrived on the scene vowing to mount an assault on the welterweight division – as well as any others who fancied their chances – also ‘roasting’ fellow fighters along the way with his supposedly humorous put-downs.
But after a controversial submission victory over Robbie Lawler in his UFC bow in March, the 35-year-old Askren has since been brought back down to earth with a bang twice – quite literally against Masvidal at UFC 239 in July and now against Maia.
After the defeat, Askren took to social media to apologize to anyone he had “let down” – but many on Twitter praised Maia while showing little mercy for a man who himself has taken so much joy at mocking others.
MOST WINS - UFC History23 - Donald Cerrone22 - Demian Maia20 - Georges St-Pierre20 - Michael Bisping20 - Jim Miller#UFCSingapore— Michael Carroll (@MJCflipdascript) October 26, 2019
Made a bad decision and I failed. Sorry to everyone who I let down.— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 26, 2019
People mock Ronda Rousey but she was a pioneer & champion. Askren for me is the most overrated fighter the UFC has ever signed. Just goes to show the difference in levels between Asia eg One Championship & the @ufc. No comparison. Even the Lawler win is debatable. #UFCsingapore— Tam Khan (@Tam_Khan) October 26, 2019
Ben Askren is without a shadow of a doubt the most overrated MMA fighter of all time.— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) October 26, 2019
'Funky' Askren himself fronted up afterwards, saying he had got "overconfident" against one of MMA's greatest grapplers.
Askren said he would have to "go home, sit down and think about" where he goes from here, but there will be big questions over the fighting future of a man once surrounded by so much hype.