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Robbie Lawer defends Jorge Masvidal's post-fight celebration at UFC 239, says Askren had 'rough night'

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Robbie Lawler understands exactly why Jorge Masvidal celebrated after his brutal five-second knockout over Ben Askren at UFC 239 earlier this month.

Lawler, who was Masvidal’s teammate at American Top Team from 2013-2016, also had to deal with Askren’s pre-fight trash talk just four months ago. The two welterweights eventually collided at UFC 235 and Lawler nearly knocked Askren out in the first round, although “Funky” recovered to secure a controversial submission finish over the former UFC welterweight champion.

Askren seemed to elevate his banter leading into his anticipated showdown with “Gamebred” at UFC 239 which is a big reason why Masvidal celebrated the way he did when the dust settled. Masvidal’s actions may be considered bush league to some, but Lawler was happy to see his former teammate and current friend succeed in such a big spot.

“It was a rough fight but Masvidal’s my buddy so I was excited for him,” Lawler said of the matchup during a recent appearance on Ebro in the Morning (h/t Abhinav Kini of The Body Lock MMA).

Lawler, who is one of the last fighters from the old school UFC era, remains adamant that Masvidal did nothing wrong by celebrating one of the most brutal finishes in UFC history. According to the welterweight veteran, “Funky” had it coming.

“I know Askren runs his mouth and when you run your mouth, stuff like this happens,” Lawler explained. “When someone is running their mouth, then you gotta fight. I’m an old school guy where I don’t think Masvidal did anything wrong. He was celebrating, he handled himself as a professional.

“If you don’t want somebody to dance on top of you, you don’t get beat up, you don’t run your mouth.”

Well, I guess that’s that.

Lawler, who will face former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington at UFC on ESPN 5 next month, may end up getting another shot as Askren down the line. Considering the controversial stoppage from their first fight, it’s safe to say UFC would be interested in scheduling such a rematch if the timing is right.

As for Masvidal, post-fight celebration or not, he’s coming off one of the greatest performances in UFC history. “Gamebred” will either land an eventual UFC welterweight title shot for his five-second effort or somehow score a massive payday opposite Conor McGregor.