The best Oddsmakers in the game return with UFC FN Maia vs Askren Prediction. Two of the most decorated grapplers to ever grace the octagon will be facing off in Singapore for UFC Fight Night 162. This is throwback to specialist vs. specialist, as a Brazilian Black Belt (Maia) battles the 2008 Olympic wrestler, Askren. Let’s break down each fighters road to victory and then our unanimous pick for the Oct. 26 event.
Demian Maia’s Path to Victory (Prediction)
If you ever forget how dangerous Maia can be on the ground, look back at his bout with the former interim champ Carlos Condit. Maia took Condit to the ground and finished him in under two minutes. This can happen in any bout, but not likely against a fellow ground specialist like Askren. Maia’s stand-up is also sharper than his opponent, however Askren will welcome strikes as an opening to get it to the ground. So where can Maia shine? It will be in chaining his strikes to grappling, to submission. Strike to invoke a takedown, then attack a head or arm. As Askren defends, the second or third attack chain could very likely leave Askren bewildered and defeated.
Ben Askren’s Path to Victory (Prediction)
Askren doesn’t have an impressive 19 and 1 MMA record for no reason. Wrestling is key in the sport, and he is one of the best to ever do it in the cage. They call him “funky” because it describes his wrestling style so well. It’s unpredictable at times, as he takes the fight where he wants. The only downside is he is so good on the ground, his striking has never needed to mature. We saw this flaw in both of his last UFC bouts. Lucky for him Maia’s striking is nowhere near Lawler’s and Masvidal’s stand-up. As long as Askren can control Maia on the ground, he should earn his 20th victory in the cage. Askren has never faced a submission specialist on the level on Maia, however wrestling is an negator of jiu-jitsu.
Askren vs. Maia Prediction
Askren by unanimous decision. It won’t be exciting, but look at Askren to play it safe and keep Maia as stationary as long as possible. Look back at Hughes vs. Gracie for a rudimentary version of this fight. Maia will not have the required space to complete a submission, and his striking is not high enough to finish Askren on the takedown entry, as Masvidal had.