A pivotal flyweight showdown between Joseph Benavidez and Askar Askarov is in the works for an Ultimate Fighting Championship event on March 6.
MMA journalist Igor Lazorin first brought word of the matchup. The event has not been formally announced by the promotion, but multiple outlets are reporting that it will be UFC 259. The card is also expected to include a light heavweight tilt pitting Thiago Santos against Aleksandar Rakic.
A four-time flyweight title challenger, Benavidez is coming off the first two-bout skid of his professional career after being finished in back-to-back championship fights by Deiveson Figueiredo in 2020. The 36-year-old WEC veteran is nonetheless one of the sport’s top talents at 125 pounds, with a 28-7 career mark and wins over the likes of Henry Cejudo, Jussier Formiga, Dustin Ortiz, Alex Perez, John Moraga and Ian McCall, to name a few.
Askarov, meanwhile, is unbeaten in 13 professional outings, with his lone blemish coming via split draw against current No. 1 contender Brandon Moreno at UFC Fight Night 159. Since that bout, Askarov has posted decision triumphs over Tim Elliott and Alexandre Pantoja in his last two Octagon appearances.
« Previous Leon Edwards Tests Positive for COVID-19, UFC Fight Night 183 Headliner Canceled Next Pettis vs. Morono Added to UFC Fight Night 183; ‘Wonderboy’-Neal Elevated to Main Event »