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Midnight Mania! Ben Askren calls out Colby Covington for UFC debut, hints at Khabib humbling

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One Championship: Dynasty of Heroes Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

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Ben Askren is seemingly on his way to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, courtesy of what would be an historic trade deal, with Pound-for-Pound great Demetrious Johnson headed to ONE Championship in return. This is a deal with upside for all concerned; Johnson will (hopefully) be getting a better deal financially from ONE, while Ben Askren will finally get to test his undefeated mettle against the best fighters in the world, unless ONE manage to pull off some cross promotion with RIZIN and set up a rematch with Kyoji Horiguchi. Losing out are Demetrious Johnson fans, who will no longer get to see Johnson fighting the best in the world. The other potential development is that men’s flyweight could be shuttered as a division in the UFC, something that has been threatened before.

The possibilities for Askren’s debut opponent are wide, but Askren has the perfect opponent in mind. His college wrestling friend Tyron Woodley is already scheduled to fight him, but Ben has called dibs on infamous heel Colby Covington after Woodley is through, or if Covington happens to beat Woodley. The matchup would pit wrestler against wrestler.

He has also hinted at another marquee matchup: Khabib Nurmagomedov, the Dagestani lightweight champion who just choked out Conor McGregor, has been in Askren’s sights for years.

It will be interesting to see Askren finally facing a real challenge. The UFC was famously dismissive of him when he was angling for a matchup with then-champion Johny Hendricks, leading to his signing for ONE. Now, he will get his belated chance to show what he can do.

Demetrious Johnson, meanwhile, has changed his Twitter handle to @Mighty1Gaming after the trade rumors surfaced.

It is apparently standard language in Zuffa contracts to be able to trade fighters, though this is the first instance of it happening.

People’s minds are alight with the possibilities; this is potentially promising precedent both for fighters seeking higher pay through competition between promoters, and fans who want to see fresh matchups between fighters in different organizations.


Eddie Alvarez on his 8-figure deal with ONE:

This doesn’t look promising for Khabib Nurmagomedov, who got half his two million dollar fight purse.

This would be a fun matchup

Abdul Razak Alhassan is still officially on the UFC website and still eligible to be voted on in rankings, and the UFC still hasn’t offered any public comment on his rape indictment whatsoever.

It’s crazy how little even the top UFC fighters get paid in comparison to the revenue they generate. This PPV easily grossed over 100 million, and probably netted them 60 million even after McGregor’s much more generous split.

It’s incredible that Snyder went down so easily to Sadulaev, but these things happen in wrestling.

Combat sports this weekend

Podcasts and Video

The GOAT, Artem Lobov, talks his upcoming fight and the McGregor situation

Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith sounds off

Random Land

Memes based on old art are some of my favorite

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good one, bro.

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This poor dog!

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