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Robbie Lawler Not Angry With Ref Over Controversial UFC 235 Stoppage

March 3, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Robbie Lawler

Robbie Lawler isn’t angry with referee Herb Dean for calling off his fight with Ben Askren, even if he says he was conscious the whole time. Lawler spoke following the PPV (per MMAjunkie) about the loss, which was controversial because Lawler did not look to be out when Dean called the fight off. Highlights are below:

On the loss: “(Expletive) happens in there sometimes. Sometimes there’s mistakes being made. Herb checked on me, and when he checked on me, I gave the thumbs up, and he came in there. I couldn’t hear him talking because how the choke was on. I’m not going to just dangle a hand there, so I just put it down, and then when he checked, I gave him the thumbs up. Looked right at him and I was like, ‘Hey man, (expletive). I’m good. It happens. He’s a hell of a ref. He just made a mistake.”

On not making excuses about the loss: “I just kind of roll with the punches and try to be positive about the situation. I’d like to run it back. I just don’t like making excuses.”

On whether he’ll file an appeal: “It’s not really my thing, I have handlers who do that (expletive) for me. People make mistakes, and I’m not one to whine about (expletive).”

NSAC Executive Director Bob Bennett on Dean’s decision: “You could see it right in front of us that when Herb picked up his hand, his hand just dropped, which would be indicative of him being out,” Bennett said. “And then he went ahead and grabbed his hand again, and it moved ever so slightly. There was no doubt in our mind that he was out. If you’ve ever been choked out, if you’ve ever been knocked out, there’s times when you know you’ve been choked or knocked out, and there’s times where you say, ‘What the hell happened?’ And I was never a professional fighter, but I’ve had it happen to me. With the NSAC, our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of the fighter. In our pre-brief fights, I specifically instruct our referees to make sure we stop the fight one punch or one kick sooner than one punch later. Robbie’s a phenomenal warrior. He’s been in the business for quite some time. He was clearly out. If you were sitting where we were, which you were on the opposite side of where we were and anybody that follows boxing knows that sometimes that can be critical in making a decision, and Herb decided to pull the plug and say he was submitted. You may say, well, Robbie jumped right up and said, ‘Hey, what the (expletive) man, I was good,’ or words to that effect. Kudos to Robbie because he was the consummate professional, came to whatever understanding they did, and congratulated the opponent. I can tell you right now as the executive director and on behalf of the commission, none of us had a problem with that.”

411’s Jeff Harris and Robert Winfree review UFC 235 in the latest edition of the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast! Listen below!

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