Multiple people with knowledge of the matchup confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Tuesday following an initial report from Russian journalist Igor Lazorin. A location and venue has not been confirmed for the spring fight card.
The fight will serve as Benavidez’s return to action after back-to-back losses to reigning flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo. The first bout was shrouded in controversy after Figueiredo missed weight for the fight and the two accidentally clashed heads prior to Figueiredo’s TKO finish a few moments later. The rematch saw Benavidez suffer a first-round submission loss to Figueiredo as he came up short in his bid to become flyweight champion.
Now the perennial top contender returns seeking to build on an overall record of 13-5 in the flyweight division.
Meanwhile, Askarov has quickly made waves at 125 pounds since joining the UFC roster.
Now Askarov looks to potentially earn a title shot when facing off with Benavidez in March.
As of now, the UFC hasn’t made any official announcements for the rumored UFC 259 card, though several bouts are expected to take place including a middleweight rematch between former champion Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall as well as Maycee Barber making her long-awaited return to action against Alexa Grasso.