"Funky" will arrive to the Octagon in March.
ESPN's Brett Okamoto reports that Ben Askren will make his UFC debut at UFC 233 in Anaheim against Robbie Lawler. Askren eluded to Lawler being his first opponent during his UFC 230 backstage interview, which you can view above.
Note: Since UFC 233 is no longer taking place on January 26, a decision has been made by the UFC to move the fight to UFC 235 this March.
Askren has been all over social media in recent weeks, calling out any and every welterweight on the roster. However, one name he didn't call out was the former Welterweight Champion. UFC President Dana White said Askren would get a top five opponent in his debut. Lawler is currently ranked No. 5 in the official UFC rankings.
After years of being shot down by White, Askren was officially brought to the UFC in a rare MMA trade that sent Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship. Askren is a former ONE and Bellator Welterweight Champion who holds an undefeated record at 18-0 (1 NC). He last fought in November 2017, defeating Shinya Aoki by TKO in just 57 seconds.
Lawler took 2018 off after losing to Rafael dos Anjos in December 2017 by unanimous decision.
UFC 235 takes place on Saturday, March 2 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with no main event announced at this time.