Last night’s (March 2) welterweight scrap between Askren and Lawler ended in controversy. Askren was in a world of trouble after being slammed on his head and then being on the receiving end of a barrage of ground punches. “Funky” survived and was able to utilize his grappling. He got Lawler in a bulldog choke and referee Herb Dean called a stop to the bout thinking Lawler went limp. “Ruthless” protested the stoppage and said he was never out.
Bob Bennett Backs Herb Dean Following Controversial UFC 235 Fight Ending
Speaking to reporters, Bennett said he felt Dean made the right decision (via MMAJunkie.com):
“With the Nevada State Athletic Commission, our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of the fighter. In our pre-(fight briefings), I specifically instruct the referees that we stop the fights one punch or one kick sooner (rather) than later in the interest in the health and safety of the fighter.
“Robbie is a phenomenal warrior. He’s been in the business for quite some time. He was clearly out … and Herb decided to pull the plug and say he was submitted. … Robbie jumped right up and said, ‘Hey, what the (expletive), man? I was good,’ or words to that effect, and he and Herb had a conversation. Kudos to Robbie, because he was a consummate professional, talked to Herb afterward, came to whatever understanding they did, congratulated the opponent, and that was the end of the fight. I can tell you right now as the executive director, and on behalf of the commission, none of us had a problem with that.”
What do you make of the Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler stoppage?