White: Askren not top-10, has opportunity to shine in WSoF


The sport of mixed martial arts has not been kind to welterweight Ben Askren of late. He was recently released by Bellator without an offer, despite being the organization's divisional champion.

The move was so egregious that World Series of Fighting matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz went on Josh Gross' "Gross Pointe Blank," and decried Bellator CEO and Founder Bjorn Rebney.

"I love the sport so much, but sometimes I get disgusted with some of the things people do," said Abdel-Aziz, as transcribed by UFC-mma" target="_blank">MMAMania.com. "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 it's 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."

"They did it in such a scummy, dirty, slimy way. The first thing Rebney did was say he is one-dimensional, that he isn't the most exciting, and then they released him on the 20th anniversary of UFC to make themselves relevant, because honestly, the Bellator name is not relevant in the media, that's just the reality of it. They could have been classy about it, they could have said 'good luck,' but they played this little game with UFC and it really hurt the guy, it didn't hurt Bellator. I think he did a lot for Bellator and I think it's wrong what they did. This is why I don't think they are going to last for long, the time is going to be coming soon for them to leave."

"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."

"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."

UFC president Dana White met with Askren on Monday, but did not offer him a job.

"The meeting went well," said White as transcribed by MMAFighting. "He's a nice kid. I've got nothing personal against him. He's a nice guy. You know, we just won't be signing him."

“I wasn’t even going to say this, because it sounds like I’m just s----ing on them, but there’s just no competition for him over at Bellator. There’s competition for him at World Series of Fighting. This kid will probably sign with them. I don’t know they’ve got to come to an agreement and a deal. But if he does, there’s actual competition for him there.”

“I think it’s crazy that he’s ranked in the top 10. He hasn’t fought anybody and has no challenges. The best thing that could’ve ever happened to that kid was leaving Bellator. Now he has the opportunity to go to World Series of Fighting and show what he’s got.”

WSoF's welterweights include Josh Burkman, champion Steve Carl, Jon Fitch, and Rousimar Palhares.

If Askren does end up in WSoF, who would you like to see him fight first?

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tags: UFC   Bellator 109   Bjorn Rebney   Dana White   Ben Askren   

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Recent Comments »

ChaosOverkill site profile image  

12/4/13 3:59 AM by ChaosOverkill

He doesn't care about opinions guys, if he ran a country he'd be ethnically cleansing dissidents.

SonOfThePeepHole site profile image  

12/4/13 3:39 AM by SonOfThePeepHole

In other wordsAskren too expensive

BertR site profile image  

12/4/13 3:33 AM by BertR

This is what happens when you have one org dominating the sport so much that they become brazen in their lies and deceptions because they don't fear facing the consequences of an empowered consumer base and the threat of competition. We all saw the dishonorable propaganda campaign launched against Fedor to try to delegitimize him when he was #1 because his existence was a threat to the bullshit machine Zuffa wanted to establish.

SOO72 site profile image  

12/4/13 3:10 AM by SOO72

SMH, this was a bad call to not sign Askren. At least give the guy a fight or two to legitimaze your org.

bekk46 site profile image  

12/4/13 2:46 AM by bekk46

Oh yeah.And why does dana keep bringing up GSP's knee injury when talking about gsp wanting to go on vacation. Ive had pictures taken and conversations with this man... But really hes making it very difficult to stand up for him... To others and myself. Sigh. But hes the best we got until his organization slowly grinds to a halt. All we can do is hope the next guy does better... But fighting doesnt usually attract the best individuals so i doubt it

IP site profile image  

12/4/13 1:52 AM by IP

What happened to the UFC being on a quest to find the best fighters in the world? Askren certainly qualifies.

dubate site profile image  

12/4/13 1:49 AM by dubate

Let's assume he wins his fights but only by decision. Is he really the best? Would you as a promoter of a fighting organization want someone who only wins by nullification and decision? The reason he is successful is not because of what he does to the opponent, rather what he stops them from doing. I don't consider the NBA "spectacle" but they have taken steps to ensure that offense is king in their league. There is a pretty wide gap between sport and spectacle, it's certainly wider than Askren.

Lite site profile image  

12/2/13 2:12 PM by Lite

We don't know where he ranks, because he's not been up against the best, but the fact that he is such a great wrestler certainly makes that a question you would like an answer to.I'm not a fan of Askren, far from it. But it's on decisions like this that you decide whether the UFC is sport or spectacle. If it is sport, first and foremost, you want to know who is the best, and if that means signing a prospect who may be championship material even if he's boring, that's what you have to do.

VitorpeepeetasteStrongTRT site profile image  

12/2/13 1:35 PM by VitorpeepeetasteStrongTRT

UFC records are not mma records?What the fuck does that mean?

Tomato Can site profile image  

12/2/13 1:34 PM by Tomato Can

Dana is absolutely bafflingly hypocritical on this matter.He's not a top 10 guy? Neither are 99% of the guys you sign. He's not exciting? Neither is Jake Shields who you could have cut on multiple occasions and who you pay very handsomely.I just cannot understand this decision at all.