MMA: Ben Askren and Demian Maia to headline Fight Night Singapore on Oct 26

While the UFC have not made an official announcement, fighter Ben Askren (left) announced on Twitter early on Aug 21 that he will take on Brazilian fighter Demian Maia in a welterweight bout.
While the UFC have not made an official announcement, fighter Ben Askren (left) announced on Twitter early on Aug 21 that he will take on Brazilian fighter Demian Maia in a welterweight bout.PHOTOS: BEN ASKREN/FACEBOOK, DEMIAN MAIA/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Ben Askren is set to return to the Singapore Indoor Stadium, this time to headline the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night Singapore event on Oct 26.

While the UFC have not made an official announcement, the 35-year-old American announced on Twitter early on Wednesday (August 21) that he will take on Brazilian fighter Demian Maia, 41, in a welterweight bout.

Askren is currently 11th in UFC's welterweight ranking, while Maia is ranked 10th.

"Done deal! Oct 26 we will find out who the best MMA grappler on planet earth is," tweeted Askren.

Askren has competed at the Indoor Stadium three times before, in 2014 and twice in 2017, while he was signed to Singapore-based MMA organisation One Championship, and was triumphant each time.

This included his "retirement" match against Japanese submission specialist Shinya Aoki in Nov 2017, after which he called time on his career.

But in Nov 2018, Askren signed for the UFC in a "trade" which saw former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson join One.

He made his highly-anticipated UFC debut in March 2019, which ended in a controversial win over the organisation's former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, who was deemed to have been unconscious after being put in a bulldog choke hold. Lawler contends he was not.

Then, in July, Askren was on the receiving end of a highlight-reel flying knee knockout by Jorge Masvidal. The bout officially ended after five seconds, making it the quickest knockout in UFC history.

He will attempt to resuscitate his UFC career with an impressive win over former title contender Maia.

The South American veteran, who has fought in the UFC since 2007, is holds the second-highest number of wins in the organisation's history (21), behind Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone's 23.

He unsuccessfully contested for the UFC middleweight title in 2010 and the welterweight title in 2017, but is coming off two straight wins in February and June this year.

This year's Fight Night Singapore will be the fourth time the UFC will hold an event in the Republic, and the second under the three-year deal it signed in 2018.

In June 2018, UFC veteran Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone headlined the card in Singapore in a bout with British upstart Leon Edwards. Edwards won via unanimous decision.

A year earlier, Holly Holm defeated Bethe Correia in the main event of the 2017 event. The first UFC event in Singapore was held in 2015, when Tarec Saffiedine beat Lim Hyun-gyu.