NSAC Head Agrees With Askren-Lawler Decision
In one of the featured fights of UFC 235, Ben Askren would overcome a impactful start by Robbie Lawler, to gain a controversial first-round submission win in his UFC debut.
Askren caught the former champion in a bulldog choke, and for a brief moment Lawler’s arm would go limp, and causing referee Herb Dean to stop the fight. Upon replay, Dean’s decision would become questionable, especially with Lawler popping up and arguing with Dean’s decision.
Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett would address the press at the post-fight press conference, defending Dean’s decision to stop the fight.
”In this particular question with the bulldog choke on Robbie, you could see it right in front of us that when Herb picked up his hand, his hand just dropped,” Bennett said. “It just dropped, which would be indicative of him being out. And then [Dean] went ahead and grabbed his hand again and it came up a little and it moved ever so slightly. There was no doubt in our mind that he was out.”
”You can argue, if you’ve ever been choked out or knocked out, there’s times where you know you’ve been choked or knocked out, and there’s times where you say ‘What the hell happened?’ I was never a professional fighter, but I’ve had it happen to me. Cuz someone asked me that tonight and I thought it was kinda freakin’ inappropriate. So I’ll bring that to the table right now.”
”With the Nevada State Athletic Commission, our number one priority is the health and safety of the fighter,” Bennett continued. “In our pre-brief fights, I specifically instruct the referees to make sure we stop the fight one punch or one kick sooner than later. In the interest of the health and safety of the fighter, Robbie’s a phenomenal warrior, he’s been in the business for a long time. He was clearly out.”
While Bennett praised Lawler for being a professional in light of the controversial call, it would not deter Bennett in defending Askren’s win as legitimate.
”I can tell you right now as the executive director and on behalf of the commission, no one had a problem with that.”
Quotes Via: MMA Mania