Askren was acquired by the UFC as part of a trade with ONE Championship. ONE got Demetrious Johnson as part of the agreement. “Funky” was immediately thrown to the wolves as he took on former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. Things looked ugly for Askren early as he was dumped on his head and ate clean ground strikes. Askren survived and locked in a bulldog choke that led to a controversial submission victory.
MacDonald Gives Props To Askren
BJPenn.com interviewed MacDonald, who said that Askren impressed him by showing toughness:
“I did see the fight. He’s quite a powerful star. But props to him, he’s tough, he survived and not only survived but kept coming forward. He got back to his feet and he kept moving towards, which is… Not a lot of people can do that after taking that kind of punishment. Obviously, the stoppage was not great. In my opinion, he (Lawler) was awake and fine. But that’s the sport, the ref has to make a call and unfortunately it was in a tough position to make the right call. So it’s just one of those things. But it was interesting.”
MacDonald will defend his Bellator welterweight gold tomorrow night (April 27) against Jon Fitch. Askren will clash with Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 on July 6.