Duke Roufus: Bellator tapping out over Askren


Bellator chief Bjorn Rebney appears to be letting Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren simply walk away.

"I don't think we're going to make an offer at this point," said Rebney recently. "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."

Rebney frankly described Bellator's welterweights as being short on wrestling, and long on striking, and attributed that to the Olympian's dominating success.

"Until the wrestling game evolves they're going to have big problems with a guy like Ben Askren," said Rebney. "He does what he does, takes them out of their environment, and that makes for incredibly lopsided fights."

Askren recently said that he thinks Redney's stance could be a negotiating tactic.

"Honestly, I think it could be a ploy on their part to get the UFC to make a lower offer, so when they go to match it's not as hard," said 'Funky'.

However, Asken's striking coach, Duke Roufus appeared recently on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour and said that he thinks Bellator is simply tapping out.

"I think it's pretty exciting for Ben to come over (to UFC)," said Roufus. "He's definitely going to go to the deep waters of UFC. We're going to see how well he's going to do in the UFC. I think it's not good for Bellator to say, 'Hey, let's let our champion go.' It helps Ben, but it hurts their organization in the long run. You have to value your champion. I'm not commenting negatively, I was at their last show with Ben, I thought they did a great job, but, how do you just let your champion go? You basically tapped out and said, 'We are second place to the UFC.'"

Listen to entire interview...
Transcription courtesy of MMAMania.

Related MMA gear from the UG Store


Fuji Women\'s Pink Blossom Gi

Fuji Women's Pink Blossom Gi

Only $97.99

Elevation Training Mask 2.0

Elevation Training Mask 2.0

Only $79.99


tags: UFC   Bellator   Ben Askren   Duke Roufus   

Get the MMA Underground app. for iPhone and Andriod devices.
iPhone Application Andriod MMA Underground Application

Recent Comments »

time traveling 12er site profile image  

8/30/13 11:20 AM by time traveling 12er

This really sucks for Askren, but the best move tactically right now for the UFC is to not offer Askren a contract. Bellator already made a move by crapping on Askren. Even if Bellator saves money by lowering his value, they've already lowered his stature as a fighter by saying he sucks. It's like rubbing your boogers all over a steak so someone else doesn't eat it. You get to keep your steak but now it has boogers all over it. If they don't sign him then their former champ apparently isn't good enough to sign with Bellator or the UFC. On Zuffa's side they can just wait it out and see if Bellator will try to keep him, and if they really let him just walk, snap him up for even cheaper. What should really happen though is Bellator actually letting him walk and the UFC giving him a contract he's worth. But I doubt that happens.

tecknowledge site profile image  

8/30/13 11:04 AM by tecknowledge

can we just find this dude a good coaching job? dana please dont sign this dude.

Stephen Holder site profile image  

8/30/13 10:34 AM by Stephen Holder

Is it true that Bjorn Rebney is himself a lawyer? If that's the case, then even besides being a selfish promoter, hes by definition extra grimy. Not a chance in hell this guy sits by and lets his champ go, especially considering how the EA situation went down. Not only would that insult his org's cred. and as a promoter, hurt his ego (not to mention his bosses') but in terms of his integrity as a lawyer, that would sting. Dana isn't dumb, I'm sure hes aware of what Bjorn is doing.

Tombmatter site profile image  

8/30/13 10:34 AM by Tombmatter

From organizational point of view, it's a win-win for Bellator. Losing Askren does nothing for their status as the second big MMA player in US, as they still have way to go to catch UFC anyway, but there is also no one threatening their runner up position. Either they get more exciting champ that might bring more revenue, or they will get Askren for cheap, which will cut the costs.

rjhartman site profile image  

8/30/13 10:27 AM by rjhartman

First fight vs Koscheck. Make it happen UFC.

AssassinsNATION site profile image  

8/30/13 10:20 AM by AssassinsNATION

it's a catch 22, Bjorn tries to keep Askren he gets bad mouthed. He lets Ben have his wish and go fight for the UFC he gets criticism there.

Bellator Fan site profile image  

8/30/13 9:58 AM by Bellator Fan

Askren is saying he will go where the best offer is. He's already tweeting his 1st intentions preferences in the UFC. Why should Bellator help to drive his price when he's showing them no loyalty or respect?

Bellator Fan site profile image  

8/30/13 9:51 AM by Bellator Fan

Not at all. Askren wants to leave and has expressed it numerous times. He has ZERO interest in being re-signed by BellatorMMA.

wasssp site profile image  

8/30/13 9:51 AM by wasssp

Why should Riley Cooper refrain from using racist epithets? Black people aren't speaking highly of Riley and are, in fact, saying some really unkind things about him.

jimbonice site profile image  

8/30/13 9:45 AM by jimbonice

Personally, I enjoy Askren's fights. He's got one of the most active wrestling styles in the game, but for a promoter trying to build a fan base of casual fans, he's death to ratings. Smart move on Bjorn's part.