Bellator and the UFC do not get along.
I’m not speaking of the fighters themselves, or even the companies as a whole. I’m speaking of the talking heads of the two companies, UFC President Dana White and CEO of Bellator Fighting Championships, Bjorn Rebney.
These two men have always been quick to trade passive-aggressive digs at each other (and just plain-old aggressive digs), posturing and arguing over who has the better product; the better champions; the better fights. And now a third party is throwing his hat in the proverbial cage: WSOF matchmaker, Ali Abdel-Aziz.
Aziz had some things on his mind when he appeared on “Gross Pointe Blank” this week, when it comes to Bellator and the way they handled the release of their welterweight champion, 12-0 Ben Askren:
“I really feel bad for Ben Askren right now and the things he is going through. I love the sport so much, but sometimes I get disgusted with some of the things people do. You have this guy who is the Bellator champion and then you have this jerk from Bellator, Bjork Rebney or whatever his name is. He talks bad about Ben first saying he is ‘boring’ and ‘one-dimensional’ and he is their champion. The reason he is saying that is because he already knows in his mind he is going to release him. I think its disrespectful to Ben, the guy is an Olympian, there doesn’t come a better athlete than this, and listen, he is a one-dimensional fighter but his last two fights were so exciting and the guy brings a lot to the table. He talks, has a good personality, stays active on social media and for Bellator to do that I think it was disgusting and an embarrassment for the sport to talk bad about your champion just because you know you’re going to release him.”
Aziz went on to first take a dig at the quality of matches that Bellator puts on:
“They don’t put on fights anyone cares about except Alvarez vs. Chandler. Who cares about other fights? I don’t care about it as an MMA fan and listen, I watched the Alvarez vs. Chandler fight because I knew every other fight on the undercard sucked. Realistically, Bellator doesn’t have anyone that can fight Askren. We do, we have a lot more competition than they do.”
Then he focused his attention back on Rebney:
“Bjorn Rebney is just not a good guy, he’s just not. I dealt with him when I managed guys and he is just not a good guy. I think Viacom is a great platform and Spike is amazing. I think people are more excited now to watch Glory than Bellator.”
It will be interesting to see where all of this drama goes from here. But no matter where it goes, you can rest assured that it’s only getting started.Tags: Ali Abdel-Aziz, Bellator, Ben Askren, Bjorn Rebney, Dana White, mma, MMA NEWS, ufc, ufc news, wsof