Ben Askren finally made his highly-anticipated UFC debut on Saturday when he took on Robbie Lawler. There was no doubt this was a tough fight for Askren. Lawler has serious knockout power and tremendous takedown defense.
To start off the fight, Lawler did exactly that as slammed Askren on his head and landed some serious shots from the ground. Then, Askren somehow got up and got ahold of Lawler’s back and secured a bulldog choke for the submission win. It was an entertaining fight and a fight that could have been the fight of the night. Speaking after the fight, Askren is confident if he fought the way Kamaru Usman fought he would have been booed out of the arena.
“Man, if I would’ve fought like that, the arena would’ve booed me out of the place,” Askren said Saturday night. “I mean, how many times did they get broken up because of a lack of action? And obviously on Tyron’s end, as a competitor, Tyron needs to let his hands go and get it going. But as far as Marty’s concerned, he was just pushing him into the cage, pushing him into the cage. When he was on top, he wasn’t really doing much — and that’s something I’ve gotten criticized excessively for in my career and I’ve never held anyone against the cage for a while.
“So yeah, I didn’t really like that. Obviously, I understand there’s some bias involved.”
The way Usman fought was smart, however. He simply dominated Tyron Woodley by taking him down and clinching him up against the fence and really negating any chance of Woodley landing a knockout punch. The way he fought is similar to how Askren has fought in ONE Championship and Bellator. But, as Askren says if he did that he would have been booed out of the arena.