Controversy struck the anticipated Octagon debut of Ben Askren last night (Sat., Mar. 2, 2019) at UFC 235 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as “Funky” defeated former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler via first-round submission (bulldog choke).
Askren had to endure a lot of early damage, including a “Ruthless” slam on his head, but he eventually took Lawler down. “Funky” was able to work to back control and quickly went for a rear-naked choke. Lawler turned over and nearly popped his head out, but Askren kept squeezing and caught the former champ in a bulldog choke. Lawler’s arm seemed to go limp and referee Herb Dean moved in to ask him if he’s okay. After a few seconds of no response Dean pulled Askren off, only to see Lawler quickly recover and protest the stoppage.
Check out the highlights below.
With this performance, albeit a controversial one, Askren proved that he could stomach what the Octagon has to offer and still come out on top. It will be interesting to see how UFC looks at this finish and what they decide to do with Askren. A rematch should certainly be a possibility.
For complete UFC 235 results and coverage click here.