Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald was the latest to give his thoughts on the Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren fight.
Askren defeated Lawler via submission in his debut at UFC 235 last month. However, the finish was extremely controversial.
Lawler was put in a bulldog choke and appeared to be going out. But he never tapped and protested as soon as referee Herb Dean stopped the fight. Fans and MMA personalities are still debating the finish of the fight to this day.
MacDonald faced Lawler twice, so his thoughts on the fight are especially interesting.
“The Red King” agrees that the stoppage was “not great,” but was impressed with the heart that Askren showed, especially after the ground and pound he suffered at the hands of Lawler.
“I did see the fight,” MacDonald told BJPenn.com. “He’s [Askren] 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 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 is set to put his title on the line at Bellator 220 this weekend when he takes on Jon Fitch in a welterweight grand prix quarterfinal.
If presented to him, he would still be open to a cross-promotional fight with a UFC welterweight in the future.
“Sure, I’m the champion now and I’m going to take on all comers.”