Ben Askren had to survive early adversity from a big Robbie Lawler slam tonight at UFC 235, but he managed to survive and then finished the fight later in the round by way of a bulldogy choke, though it appeared to be a premature stoppage.
Askren immediately in for the takedown, switches to the back and looks to get the fight to the mat any way possible.
However, suddenly Lawler is able to slam Askren on his head and the former BEllator and ONE FC is left stunned on the mat.
Lawler starts blasting away at Askren and he almost looks as if he’s slipping into unconsciousness, but then starts moving, gets to a better position and manages to survive. However, he’s already bleeding heavily from that early offense.
Askren back upright now, but looking a little unstable as Lawler connects again. However, Askren does get to the clinch and gets Lawler against the cage, giving him time to get his wits about him and gain some control over the proceedings.
Lawler defending for now though in an attempt to stop the fight going to the mat. Then Askren is suddenly working for a submission, going for the rear-naked choke then transitions to what appears to be a tight bulldog choke on Lawler.
Lawler in real trouble here and his hand slides off Askren’s head and falls limp to the mat. It seems like he might be out, but as the referee Herb Dean comes in to check on him Lawler’s hand seems to move again, signalling that he’s ok.
However, Dean doesn’t see it and thinks he’s out, so he waves off the fight, handing Askren a submission victory with 3.20mins of the first round gone.
It looks to be a bad call though as instantly Lawler pops back up seeming none the worse for wear and protests the stoppage. Askren’s nose and left eye are a bit of a mess, but he’s won regardless, even if it will go down as a controversial stoppage.