One of the biggest stories of the night at UFC 235 was the early stoppage that occurred in the welterweight contest between Robbie Lawler and Ben Askren. Lawler looked dominant right out the gate, stuffing an Askren takedown, and landing a massive one of his own. “Ruthless” battered “Funky” bloody on the ground, before Askren was able to establish dominant position and lock in a bulldog choke.
It looked like Lawler’s arm went limp during the choke, forcing referee Herb Dean to call the fight off. As soon as Askren was pulled off, Lawler immediately shot up and protested the stoppage. He was never rendered unconscious, but some debate as to whether or not that is true remains. The UFC recently posted their “The Thrill and the Agony” video for UFC 235.
The video featured Lawler and Herb Dean’s conversations after the stoppage. Here’s what they had to say immediately after the fight was stopped:
Lawler: “What the f*ck are you doing?!”
Dean: “I thought you – ” (signals limp arm)
Lawler: “I didn’t – what the f*ck?….. I know, it’s alright.”
After things settled down a bit, Lawler was standing inside the Octagon alongside his cornermen. He then called out to Dean again:
Lawler: “Herb! Herb! Hey, don’t you f*cking worry about it, you’re a f*cking helluva ref.”
Dean: “No man, no, I don’t understand how – Like, I saw your arm limp. I grabbed it -“
Lawler: “And then I gave you the thumbs up.”
Dean: “I didn’t see you give me the thumbs up. I f*cked up.”
Lawler: “Sh*t happens man. Sh*t happens. (waves it off).”
What do you think about the way Lawler handled the situation?