Robbie Lawler reacts following controversial UFC 235 loss to Ben Askren

Robbie Lawler, UFC 235
Image: @ufc on Instagram

Former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler welcomed Ben Askren to the octagon at tonight’s UFC 235 event in Las Vegas.

Lawler entered the octagon for the first time since December of 2017, where he suffered a unanimous decision setback to Rafael dos Anjos.

As for Ben Askren, “Funky” was also returning to action from a long layoff. Askren had most recently competed under the ONE banner in November of 2017, defeating Shinya Aoki via first round TKO.

Tonight’s contest started off quickly as Askren pressured in search of an early takedown. Lawler was not only able to defend Askren’s initial attempt, but he ended up slamming Ben to the canvas.

From there Lawler would live up to his nickname “Ruthless” by dropping some ferocious ground and pound on Askren.

Despite being split open and battered, the former Bellator and ONE champion, Askren, managed to turn the fight around by wrestling Lawler to the floor and taking his back.

“Funky” would proceed to attempt a rear-naked choked. When Lawler scrambled, Askren transitioned into a bulldog choke and Herb Dean thought he saw Robbie’s arm go limp.

The veteran referee stepped in and called the fight but unfortunately it was quite obvious he had done so in error.

Nonetheless, Ben Askren was awarded a submission victory over Robbie Lawler at tonight’s UFC 235 event.

Despite the controversial finish, Robbie Lawler was not up in arms over the loss.

“Herb checked on me. I gave him the thumbs up and then he came in there. I couldn’t hear him talking because of how the choke was on. My head was on his body on this side and his arm was over here (covering my ear). So I couldn’t hear him talking and I’m not just going to dangle a hand there. So I just put it down and then when he checked I gave him the thumbs up and yea… I looked right at him and was like ‘Hey man… F*ck I’m good.’ I mean it happens. I mean he’s a hell of a ref. He just made a mistake.”

Robbie Lawler concluded:

“Stuff happens in life. People make mistakes and I’m not one to whine about shit.”

Who would you like to see former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler fight next? Should the promotion book an immediate rematch with Ben Askren? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!