UFC on ESPN picks: Demian Maia vs. Ben Askren

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

October 23rd, 2019

Ben Askren will look to get back on track against tested veteran Demian Maia in the main event of UFC on ESPN on Saturday, October 26. In the co-feature, Michael Johnson and Stevie Ray will square off, and Frank Camacho and Beneil Dariush round out the card.

Demian Maia vs. Ben Askren

Demian Maia
Ben Askren
It’s hard to determine how much the 41-year-old Maia has left in the tank, but he is not going to be a walk in the park for the rebounding Askren. Askren is hoping to erase his humiliating defeat to Jorge Madvisal, but he’s in for a tough night.

Maia is the naturally bigger man and a submission specialist. On the standup Maia has shown a good defensive technique against strikes and can hold his own in a fist fight. Taking Maia down is extremely dangerous, but Askren will try and fall into Maia’s trap.
Askren’s path to victory goes against his best asset. There is a chance this is a stand-up fight, and Askren’s striking is middling at best. He’ll have to shoot for takedowns and hope Maia doesn’t get behind them once they get to the mat.

Maia’s superior defense should nullify Askren’s offensive early, and Askren will have to force a takedown. Once Askren starts telegraphing his attempts, Maia will sidestep him and choke him out for the submission win.

Pick: Maia +140

Michael Johnson vs. Stevie Ray

Both Johnson and Ray are coming off of losses and in need of a win. Though Ray can crack, he’ll get stopped, as Johnson bounces back with a win.

Pick: Johnson -350

Frank Camacho vs. Beneil Dariush

Camacho will continue his return to lightweight against the formidable Dariush. Though Camacho is the bigger man, Dariush will outwork him and win a decision.

Pick: Dariush -155

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