Ben Askren snubs any controversy associated with the end of his fight against Robbie Lawler. Priding himself on his submission, Askren says there was no escape from the bulldog choke.
Robbie Lawler and Ben Askren faced off at UFC 235. The event took place on March 2, 2019 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. Formerly a UFC Welterweight Champion, Lawler is a UFC veteran, having fought under the promotion’s banner twenty times. Although new to the UFC, Ben Askren is a former Bellator Welterweight World Champion.
With two former champions in the Octagon, there was no doubt that the match would be an explosive one.
During the contest, Lawler blasted Askren with some big hits early in the first round. The endless round of hits affected the Olympian, who soon began to bleed from his face. Ben Askren somehow survived those deadly blows and came back strong, grabbing onto Lawler’s head for a bulldog choke.
Moments later, Lawler dropped his hand and the referee Herb Dean had no choice but to stop the contest. Unfortunately Dean couldn’t notice Lawler giving a thumbs up that he was OK to continue. After the stoppage the former welterweight champion bounced up immediately to protest and show that he was not in danger.
UFC president Dana White called it a ‘bad stoppage’ and hinted that he wanted a rematch in the near future. On the other hand Ben Askren refutes the idea and believes that the result of the fight was completely justified.
“Obviously the contest didn’t go the way I wanted to, although the outcome was great, controversy creates cash obviously, to me there was no controversy. I got beat up for a little bit, got put in a really bad position, I came out of it and I was able to finish him.”
He further said,
“So No. 1, I do think he passed out for a little bit. No. 2, there was just no escape, there was 1:40 left, he was not getting out of that hold in no way, shape or form.
“It was sunk deep, it was sunk tight and there was just literally nowhere for him to go.”
Though Lawler has shown interest in a rematch, Askren has waved off any interest.