Though the bout has been in the works for a few weeks, as reported by MMAWeekly.com's Damon Martin, Ben Askren vs. Jorge Masvidal is finally official for UFC 239, following an announcement by UFC officials.
While UFC president Dana White was initially lobbying for an immediate rematch between undefeated former Bellator and ONE champion Ben Askren and former UFC champion Robbie Lawler, both fighters quickly shifted into different bouts.
Lawler is set to face another former champion in Tyron Woodley at UFC on ESPN 4 on June 29 in Minneapolis, Minn. The two have met before with Woodley winning via knockout.
Masvidal is coming off a stunning second-round knockout against Darren Till in his last fight as he rocketed up the rankings after suffering losses in his two previous fights to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Demian Maia.
Now Masvidal will attempt to hand Askren the first loss of his career when they meet in July.
Askren got his UFC career off to a good start with a first-round submission, albeit with a bit of controversy over the timing of the stoppage, against Lawler in early March and he has been anxiously awaiting his next assignment ever since.
Askren got the fight he wanted after targeting Masvidal following "Gamebred's" win over Till in London.
Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes title fights headline UFC 239
UFC 239 is the promotion's cornerstone event, headlining International Fight Week on July 6. The fight card also features UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones putting his belt on the line against Thiago Santos in the UFC 239 main event. The co-main event features another title fight with women's featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes putting the 135-pound belt on the line opposite Jones' teammate Holly Holm.
There's really no drop-off in drawing power at UFC 239, as the fight card also features Junior dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou, Jan Blachowicz vs. Luke Rockhold, and Diego Sanchez vs. Michael Chiesa.