UFC Fight Night: 162 | Squared Up: Maia vs Askren Predictions & Analysis

Jason Paglia

Thursday, October 24, 2019 12:38 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 12:38 PM UTC

Odds Market UFC betting expert, Jason Paglia breaks down the UFC Fight Night 162 Main Event and shares his best betting predictions for Maia vs Askren's fight.
<p>The UFC heads to Singapore this weekend for UFC Fight Night 162. It goes down this Saturday morning under the lights of the Singapore Indoor Arena. It’s called Fight Night but this weekend, that is not the case. It’s more like ‘fight afternoon’ or morning. The main event for UFC Fight Night 162 is sure to be a chess match played out on the mat, when Demian Maia squares up against Ben Askren. Both these men are some of the best grapplers in the history of the welterweight division. So, what style wins the day on Saturday? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Wrestling? Let’s get after it!</p><p> </p><div><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>DEMIAN MAIA (27-9) </strong><strong> vs BEN ASKREN (19-1)</strong></h2><div style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/fighting/int/ultimate-fighting-championship/ben-askren-vs-demian-maia-3952824/?mtid=126" target="_blank" title="Fight Odds"><strong>Saturday 26<sup>th</sup>, Oct 2019</strong></a></div><h2><img src /></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5db19ccdf81e460beaddb35f/original-demian-maia" style="width:90%" /></h2><h2> </h2><h2><strong>Demian Maia:</strong></h2><p>Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Demian Maia initially trained in Judo. Most adolescents would be happy training in one practice of mixed martial arts, but not Maia. By the age of 19, Maia was proficient in Judo, Kung Fu and Karate. Shortly after Maia turned 19, he began training in the one practice that would go on to define the next 20 years of his life, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In 2007 he went on to win the most prestigious Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament in the world. The ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship.</p><p>After making his MMA debut in 2001, Maia took some time off. He returned in 2006 to compete in the Super Challenge 1 Grand Prix. He fought 3 times in one day and won the welterweight grand prix. It was then, that the UFC began to take notice in how special a grappler Maia really was.</p><p>In October of 2007 Demian Maia made his debut at UFC 77 against Ryan Jensen and won the fight via submission. He would go on to win his first 5 fights in the UFC before tasting defeat for the first time in his career against Nate Marquardt. Since making his UFC debut, Maia has had two cracks at attaining the UFC welterweight championship. Unfortunately, he lost both opportunities, most recently against Tyron Woodley at UFC 214. Heading into this fight, Demian Maia is 21-9 since starting with the promotion and walks into his fight Saturday as the #10 ranked welterweight fighter in the world. Below is a look at Demian Maia, by the numbers.</p><p> </p><p><strong><u>― STATS ―</u></strong></p><p><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5db19d7f244da8dbecfc4f62/original-demian-maia-stats" style="width:100%" /></p><p><strong><u>― PROS ―</u></strong></p><p>•<strong> Brazilian Jiu Jitsu </strong>(Demian Maia is without a doubt one of the greatest BJJ specialists to ever fight in the UFC)</p><p>•<strong> Stamina </strong>(Even though many consider him past his prime, Maia continues to have solid cardio in almost all of his fights)</p><p>• <strong>Damage </strong>(Maia only absorbs less than 2 significant strikes per minute. That is incredibly low when you consider the amount of fights that Maia has fought in during his UFC career)</p><p> </p><p><strong><u>― CONS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Striking </strong>(Unlike fighters like Jacare Souza who have grown leaps and bounds as a striker, Maia has not. He is barely serviceable. He will go into that fight on Saturday chaining takedown attempts looking to do one thing. Get Askren to the ground and on his back.)</p><p>• <b>Age </b>(While his stamina has held up well for his age, the fact remains that he is 41 years old, which is way past the prime of a normal MMA</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5db19e0b244da8dbecfc4f63/original-ben-askren" style="width:90%" /></p><h2><strong>Ben Askren:</strong><img src /></h2><p>Ben ‘Funky’ Askren’s career really started in high school. He was a two-time state wrestling champion at Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wisconsin. Highly recruited out of high school, Askren decided to attend the University of Missouri. Askren would not lose a single match his junior and senior year winning his last 87 matches and winning a NCAA Championship in both his junior and senior year. When it was all said and done, he left college with 153-8 record.</p><p>In 2008 Ben Askren made the USA Olympic wrestling team. He fell short of a medal, being eliminated in the ‘Round of 8’ against Cuba’s Ivan Fundora. After the Olympics he went on to coach wrestling at Arizona State University. He was not content to sit on the sidelines without competing, so he began training to be a mixed martial artist.</p><p>He won his first 3 fights on the regional scene before Bellator MMA signed him in 2010. He made his Bellator debut at Bellator 14 against Ryan Thomas where he won via submission. He fought 9 times for Bellator before he left the promotion winning all 9 fights. After Bellator, he signed with ONE Championship and again he was perfect. He fought 7 times for the promotion and again won 7 fights. He was finally signed by the UFC in late 2018. In his first fight against Robbie Lawler he was hurt badly in round 1. The fight could have been finished at any time but referee Herb Dean gave Askren every chance he could to get up. Askren made it to his feet and submitted Lawler inside the 1<sup>st</sup> round.</p><p>Askren’s last fight in the UFC went viral for all the wrong reasons. He was knocked out by a flying knee from Jorge Masvidal which happens to be the fastest knockout in UFC history. This Saturday Ben Askren step into the cage as the #11 welterweight contender for the world. Can he get back on track? Below is a look at Ben Askren, by the numbers.</p><p><u><strong>― STATS ―</strong></u></p><p><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5db19e22244da8dbecfc4f64/original-ben-askren-stats" style="width:100%" /></p><p> </p><p><strong><u>― PROS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Wrestling </strong>(Askren is a world class wrestler. An Olympic level wrestler. As dominant as his opponent Demian Maia is as a BJJ practitioner, Askren is as accomplished as a wrestler. WORLD CLASS.)</p><p>•<strong> Stamina </strong>(Looking at Askren, he looks like he has a dad body. It is misleading. Askren has a serious gas tank and it serves him well on the mat for 15 to 25 minutes at a time.)</p><p>•<strong>Takedowns</strong> (If Ben Askren wants to get you to the ground, he will.)</p><p> </p><p><strong><u>― CONS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Striking </strong>(It’s really bad, worse than Maia, and that is saying something. If you look at his metrics on fight pass since he has been with the UFC. His significant strikes per minute actually say 0.00%. Do I need to say anything else?)</p><p>• <strong>Chin </strong>(Askren is really fortunate that his first fight back is against a grappler and not a striker. I would assume it was Dana White’s call. If Askren was fighting a striker in this fight, he would be in a world of trouble. He just suffered the fastest knockout in UFC history. An absolutely devastating flying knee from Jorge Masvidal that sent him stiff on the ground. When someone’s jaw gets cracked like that, it could instantly change the amount of damage that your chin can take for the remainder of your career.)</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5cf03e868744ba9e8d3ce427/original-ufc-153-veredict" style="width:90%" /></p><h2><strong>THE VERDICT</strong></h2><p>So, who wins this fight? If Ben Askren was fighting any other welterweight in the division, I would bet against him in this spot, especially this spot. ANYONE THAT IS A REMOTELY COMPENTENT STRIKER would have got my money. BUT…. The UFC was really smart to give him Demian Maia here. This is too early for Askren to come back off that kind of head trauma, unless you are going to put him in the cage with another grappler.</p><p>I have tremendous respect for Demian Maia and what he has accomplished in the UFC. If you take a look at who he has lost too the last 6 years, he has only lost to the best of the best. Top 6 caliber guys. Everyone else he beats. Now you might say, well Ben Askren is not a top 6 guy, he is not the best of the best. If you believe that, you are both right and wrong.</p><p>Be Askren is not an even a top 10 welterweight if we are judging him as a complete mixed martial artist. BUT, this might be billed as an MMA fight but it isn’t. This is a grappling match that happens to be the main event on a UFC card. If that is the case, Ben Askren is a top 5 grappler in this division. Maybe even top 3. Usman, Covington, Askren and Maia are probably the 4 best grapplers in this division. This is Askren’s wheelhouse.</p><p>Demian Maia will be 42 years old this year and eventually father time is coming for him, and when he does come, he is going to d**k stomp him. Askren has the cardio to match Maia, he is stronger than Maia and I think he will have an easier time controlling his opponent on the mat. The only worry I can seem is will he be reckless and get caught in a submission on the ground. I just don’t see it happening. Not as focused as he will be off that embarrassing viral TKO. This is a tough fight to call, and I am rarely on the other side of my Odds Market MMA partner Dave, but this time I have to do it. Give me the Funky, Book It!</p><div><strong>THE PICK</strong></div><ul> <li><strong><em>Ben Askren to win at 10/17 (1.58) with </em></strong><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Bookmaker"><strong><em>BET365</em></strong></a></li></ul><div> </div><div style="text-align:center"><strong><em><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=168&amp;a=4417b7df-a48f-47f3-9b45-f79858bc083a&amp;f=3"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d582dcf927b95968483da5f/original-10-bet-new-customer-welcome-bonus" style="width:100%" /></a></em></strong></div></div>
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