Former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren made his highly-anticipated UFC debut last night (Sat. March 2, 2019).
He stepped into the cage against former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler. “Funky” took a tremendous amount of damage early on, and it looked like it was going to be a short night at the office. However, after surviving the initial onslaught and getting the fight to the ground – where he thrives – Askren sunk in a bulldog choke.
It looked like, initially, Lawler was out cold. Referee Herb Dean stepped in and waved the action off. However, as soon as the choke was released it could be seen that Lawler was just fine, and “Ruthless” began protesting the stoppage. An all-around dissapointing way to end one of the most highly-anticipated debuts in UFC history.
Check out how the mixed martial arts (MMA) community reacted to the incident below: