Rener and Ryron Gracie believe Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren was a foregone conclusion.
The Gracie University heads reenacted the UFC 235 fight-ending sequence on their “Gracie Breakdown” channel. “Was it an early stoppage?” Rener asked his brother. “Yes,” Ryron responded. “Did that affect the outcome?” Rener followed up. “No,” insisted Ryron.
The Gracie brothers elaborated on the process by which referees check to see if fighters are still conscious. According to Rener, fighters are told to squeeze the referees hand when an official checks to see if they are responsive.
Rener and Ryron expressed how that is a lot to ask of a fighter working their way out of a compromising and painful situation. That being said, the two Gracies are confident the outcome would have remained the same had Herb Dean let the fight go on.
“It was a legit choke,” Rener exclaimed. “If the fight was not stopped, Robbie would go unconscious from this situation, that is our belief.” Well, what about the fact Lawler had his chin tucked? “The chin tuck debate, ‘because the chin is tucked it’s just pain, it’s not a blood choke.’ That’s not true either. Ask Conor, ask Khabib…”
Askren’s UFC debut was about as unusual and controversial as the man’s entire MMA career. He survived a vicious slam and thudding followup strikes, and manged to wrangle up Lawler long enough to sink in the bulldog choke. Lawler’s arm appeared to go limp. Dean waved the fight off and Lawler immediately sprung to his feet in protest.