The UFC made the news official Wednesday, confirming the initial report from ESPN. UFC 233 will go down inside the Honda Center on Jan. 26 in Anaheim.
Askren (18-0, 1 NC), a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic wrestling team, was previously traded from ONE Championship to the UFC for former UFC flyweight champion and pound-for-pound king Demetrious Johnson last month. Prior to this, the man known as “Funky” sat atop ONE’s welterweight division as the its longest reigning champion.
Aside from his time in ONE Championship, Askren also dominated Bellator’s 170-pound division during his three-year run as champ. During his reign, fans saw Askren successfully defend his title over future champions Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov.
Lawler (28-12, 1 NC) has not been seen inside the Octagon since coming up short to former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos last December. Prior to this, “Ruthless” smashed his way back into the win column against Donald Cerrone at UFC 214 in July 2017. He previously lost his 170-pound to Askren’s teammate and current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 in 2016.
To date, Lawler has finished 20 of his 28 career wins by way of (T)KO.