White brushes off Bellator’s Askren offer: ‘They’re playing games’
The thought of Ben Askren just waltzing in and challenging for a UFC title doesn’t fly with Dana White.
Recently, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney offered to let conditional free agent Ben Askren walk away from the company provided UFC officials would guarantee him a title shot.
White isn’t having any of it, as he spoke to a throng of reporters following Thursday’s UFC 166 media day in Houston
“They’re playing f—ing games,” White said. I don’t care what they’re doing. It doesn’t matter to me. I don’t give a s–t what they’re doing. They don’t matter and I don’t care.”
Askren is 12-0 and the current Bellator welterweight champ. On the surface, the former two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champ appears to be a MMA wrestling savant. But critics, at least in the past, have been quick to call him the king of lay and pray, pointing at a run of six straight decisions. To Askren’s credit, his past two title defenses ended with TKO finishes.
Bellator retains matching rights to any offer for Askren until next summer. After a similar situation involving Eddie Alvarez turned into a legal cluster, the UFC has been reluctant to do the same with Askren. White has expressed interest in signing Askren, but isn’t biting at Rebney’s bait.
“When you’re willing to let your f—ing champion go, it’s weird,” White added.