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Relive Ben Askren’s UFC Debut Ahead Of His Return This Weekend

Ben Askren’s UFC debut against the former UFC champion Robbie Lawler was one of the most remarkable fights of the year for many reasons.

The meeting of the former Bellator and ONE champion Askren and the legendary former UFC champ Lawler was a fight that delivered on its intrigue with one of the most memorable fights we’ve seen in some time.

Despite everything we had heard about Ben and his skillset, our first sight of him in the UFC octagon was Robbie catching the masterful grappler and slamming him onto 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, reverse position, regain control and sink in a fight-ending Bulldog choke just minutes later.

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

Either way, it was a phenomenal turn-around from Ben Askren and one that would have likely ended in a submission win anyway had the fight gone on a few seconds longer.

Ahead of Askren’s return to face Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 this weekend, relive the moment the world learned exactly how tough the unbeaten former Olympian actually is.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at