A pair of members of the legendary jiu-jitsu Gracie family have weighed in on the controversy surrounding the finish to Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler at UFC 235. In a recent video on their “Gracie Breakdown” channel, Rener asked his brother, “Was it an early stoppage?” “Yes,” Ryron responded. “Did that affect the outcome?” Rener followed up. “No,” insisted Ryron.
Lawler opened up the bout by stuffing an Askren takedown and landing a hellacious one of his own before battering “Funky” on the ground and busting him open. However, Askren got to his feet was able to successfully get the fight to the ground, and sunk in a bulldog choke. Lawler’s arm seemed to go limp, causing referee Herb Dean to step in and call the fight off.
But Lawler was giving Dean the thumbs up as he was calling off the fight. “Ruthless” shot up to his feet and began to protest the stoppage immediately. The debate as to whether or not Lawler was actually unconscious remains: (via Bloody Elbow):
“It was a legit choke,” Rener exclaimed. “If the fight was not stopped, Robbie would go unconscious from this situation, that is our belief.”
As for the tucked chin debate, Rener also had an explanation for that:
“The chin tuck debate, ‘because the chin is tucked it’s just pain, it’s not a blood choke.’ That’s not true either. Ask Conor, ask Khabib…”
What do you think of the Gracie Brothers’ take on Askren vs. Lawler?