Joseph Benavidez vs. Askar Askarov booked for UFC 259 on March 6

Joseph Benavidez will look to rebound from his first career losing skid.

Benavidez will face Askar Askarov on March 6 at UFC 259, which does not yet have a location or venue. The card will stream on pay-per-view, likely following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

Two people with knowledge of the matchup confirmed the booking to MMA Junkie but asked to remain anonymous since the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. Russian journalist Igor Lazonin was first to report the news.

A longtime staple in the flyweight division, five-time title challenger Benavidez (28-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) is coming off back-to-back stoppage losses to current champion Deiveson Figueiredo. In their first outing for the vacant flyweight belt, Figueiredo stopped Benavidez in Round 2 in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 27, but was not crowned champion due to missing weight.

The pair ran things back in the UFC on ESPN+ 30 headliner in July, and Figueiredo finished Benavidez once again, this time submitting him in the first round to win the flyweight title. Prior to his losses to Figueiredo, Benavidez had won nine of 10, including wins over current UFC flyweight title challenger Alex Perez and former UFC dual champ Henry Cejudo.

Unbeaten in his pro MMA career, former ACB flyweight champion Askarov (12-0-1 MMA, 2-0-1 UFC) battled Brandon Moreno to a split draw in his UFC debut in September 2019, followed by back-to-back unanimous decision wins over Tim Elliott and Alexandre Pantoja.

With the addition, the UFC 258 lineup includes:

  • Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman
  • Maycee Barber vs. Alexa Grasso
  • Askar Askarov vs. Joseph Benavidez


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