Ben Askren will make his debut in the Octagon at UFC 223 when he squares off against Robbie Lawler, the UFC announced Wednesday.
The welterweight bout will take place on Jan. 26 in Anaheim at the Honda Center.
Askren (18–0, 1 NC) was traded this fall from ONE Championship to UFC in exchange for Demetrious Johnson, a former UFC flyweight champion and all-time record holder for title defenses.
“Funky” retired in November 2017 but was once ONE’s longest reigning champion in the welterweight division. The former Olymian and two-time NCAA champion began his career with Bellator, where he defended his title over future champions Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov.
Lawler (28–12, 1 NC) has not fought since tearing his ACL in his unanimous decision loss to Rafael dos Anjos in December 2017. Before that,
“Ruthless,” 35, beat Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision at UFC 214 in July 2017.
UFC 233’s main event will feature T.J. Dillashaw against Henry Cejudo for Cejudo’s UFC flyweight title.
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