Bellator Not Interested in Making Ben Askren New Contract Offer
Though the reigning welterweight champion’s contract only recently expired, Bellator FC seems to have no interest in re-signing undefeated Ben Askren. In fact, Bellator CEO thinks they should ‘speed up’ Askren’s transition to the UFC.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Ben Askren recently became a free agent, and it seems no one is rushing to pull the 2-time NCAA champion and U.S. Olympic wrestler from limbo.
Bellator, the organization through which Askren rose to being 12-0 and welterweight champion, has explicitly stated its intent to not re-sign the current champion.
Bellator CEO, Bjorn Rebney, told ESPN.com:
“I don’t think we’re going to make an offer at this point, so I don’t see any reason to make anybody sit out. If Ben’s going to go to the UFC, we should speed up that process so he can go fight. I’d love to see Ben versus GSP. If the UFC does make an offer, we’ll take a look at it and move on from there. We haven’t been proactive yet. I have nothing but good things to say about Ben as a fighter, but we’re all very aware of how he fights and what he does- it’s not for everyone.“
While the UFC has expressed interest in Askren, UFC President Dana White has shared a wealth of negative opinions toward the welterweight in the past. Askren did win his last two fights, however, via TKO.
The relatively cold dismissal on the part of Bjorn Rebney, however, leaves a number of people somewhat confused. Bellator is rather famous for its relentless captivity over Eddie Alvarez. Rebney’s sentiments now, despite their tone, do not ensure that Viacom- which owns Bellator- will not try the same contract-type business with Askren.
In any case, Askren has yet to find the direction in which his MMA career will continue. If he does go to the UFC, we could possibly see the Twitter war between Askren and UFC fighter Michael Bisping come to fruition in 3-round fight.