A bloodied Ben Askren won his debut bout in the Ultimate Fighting Championship ( UFC ) against Robbie Lawler on Saturday after a controversial stoppage in Las Vegas. Making his bow in the US-based body at 34 years old, after years fighting in the Bellator and One Championship organisations, Askren won after a technical submission at three minutes and 20 seconds of round one, the referee stepping in to stop the fight when it seemed like Lawler was OK to fight on. Lawler was immediately to his feet to protest to referee Herb Dean that he was still conscious and fine to continue after “Funky” had applied a choke hold. Askren survived an early scare when Lawler flew out of the blocks and slammed Askren onto his head before hammering in a gruesome series of heavy blows. Askren regrouped and grew into the bout before the stoppage. When asked about the controversial nature of the win, Askren replied: “Man, I’m not the referee. My job is to fight. “Herb asked a couple times and said ‘Robbie are you okay?’ and nothing happened, so I thought maybe he was out,” Askren said. “I was freaking discombobulated, that slam landed me on my head a little bit it took some time to get me wits about me.” UFC 235: at 34, Ben Askren finally makes big time debut under the Las Vegas lights Earlier, China’s Zhang Weili boosted her chances of attempting to challenge for a world title with a convincing decision victory over seventh ranked Tecia Torres at T-Mobile Arena. The three judges scored it 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 all in favour of the Hebei-native, who is now on a shortlist to challenge for UFC’s strawweight title. Going into the fight, the Chinese was ranked 15th in the division.