UFC Fight Night 162: Maia vs Askren Tips & Preview

The UFC ventures to Singapore this weekend for the highly anticipated UFC Fight Night 162 event. Ben Askren returns at Welterweight, taking on veteran Demian Maia in an intriguing contest. Our Co-Main event also appears very entertaining, pitting Lightweights Michael Johnson and Stevie Ray against each other. We’ll preview and analyse both of these fights, providing our best bet for each.

Demian Maia vs Ben Askren, Welterweight, Main Event
Askren to Win $1.70

Demian Maia

The Brazilian enters this clash with a respectable 27-9 career MMA record. He went on an excellent winning run a few years ago, culminating in a rather unfortunate title loss to Tyron Woodley. Known as one of the best submission artists of all time, 13 of his career wins have come via this method. Although he lost 3 straight between 2017-18, consecutive wins would suggest he’s bounced back.

Ben Askren

Although he hasn’t fought much in the UFC, Askren still has an impressive 19-1-1 record to his name. He is also known primarily for his submission skills, although he has at least 6 wins by each major method of victory. He was excellent in his UFC debut earlier this year, managing a technical submission over Robbie Lawler. His last fight was undoubtedly the worst of his career, an epic KO loss to Jorge Masvidal in just 5 seconds.

Prediction: Askren to Win

It’s a rare occurrence that Demian Maia comes up against someone just as good as him on the ground. Not only that, but Askren has a huge edge both on the feet and in the clinch. I think he has a significant speed and athleticism edge that should manifest itself throughout the fight. If he lands some early shots this one could be over quick, but I think the straight win market has us covered for a multitude of scenarios.

Michael Johnson vs Stevie Ray, Lightweight, Co-Main
Johnson by KO

Michael Johnson

Johnson enters this fight with some huge pedigree, although he’s just 19-14 for his career. His form appears to have gotten worse of late, winning only 3 of his last 9 fights. Known for his relatively powerful striking, 8 of his wins have come via knockout.

Stevie Ray

After a storied amateur career, Stevie Ray is 22-9 since taking up MMA professionally. He has fought in the UFC for over 4 years, going 6-4 in that time. He is known more for his elite submission ability, with 8 submissions and 8 decisions in his career so far.

Prediction: Johnson by KO

Johnson is used to this type of high-pressure fight, while Ray has faltered against quality opposition in the past. This is an interesting matchup of styles in the sense that Ray is a submission artist, while Johnson is great at takedown defence. I think he has a huge edge with his striking ability and will look to keep this on the feet all night. He definitely has the potential for an early KO here, and that’s the result I see as the most likely.