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Askren’s UFC Debut Ends In Controversy, Dana Set On Rematch

Ben Askren’s long-awaited UFC debut against ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler was one that ended under rather controversial circumstances.

UFC 235 was a night that will live long in the memory – both due to the victories that came from those featured as well as the numerous instances of controversy that were littered from top-to-bottom.

Going into the card, the UFC debut of Ben Askren was seen as perhaps the most eagerly anticipated promotional debut in years and the tension to be felt in the T-Mobile Arena during the walkouts was ridiculous.

One look at the face of Lawler says it all.

And for a while, things seemed to be going to plan for the former-champion.

He caught the masterful grappler Askren and lifted him over his head in a stunning sequence that ended with a brutal display of ground-and-pound about 15 seconds into the fight – completely flipping our preconceived notions about this matchup on our heads.

The fight could well have been stopped there and but against all odds, Ben was able to recover sufficiently and sink in a fight-ending Bulldog choke just minutes later.

Unfortunately, the consciousness of Lawler was misread by referee Herb Dean – who jumped in to ‘save’ the veteran after he evidently went out from Askren’s sub, something that was later proven to be a bad call.

Askren, in any event, was able to take home the win by way of first-round submission and, of course, went straight to Twitter to express his joy at a debut that saw him endure quite a bit of punishment.

UFC president Dana White was quick to make it clear to the fans that he would be working on setting up a rematch of this fight – something that Askren himself has said he is not interested in.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at [email protected]