Bellator apparently letting champion Ben Askren walk away
UFC president Dana White has long explained that he can work with a fighter, even if they don’t get along on social networks, or anywhere. Tito Ortiz and White were so ill suited that White once referenced the need for marriage counseling, and agreed to fight Ortiz in the boxing ring. Tito was eventually put into the UFC Hall of Fame (and declined the boxing match).
White and Bellator welterweight Champion Ben Askren bickered bitterly on Twitter last year.
“When ambien can’t sleep it takes Ben Askren,” tweeted White. “The most boring fighter in MMA history. I would rather watch flys f—.”
However, Askren is now a free agent, and White expressed interest.
“We’ll talk to Ben,” said White. “Yeah, we’ll talk to him.”
in stark contrast with the fight that took place over Eddie Alvarez, it appears as if Bellator chief Bjorn Rebney is going to let Askren simply walk away.
“I don’t think we’re going to make an offer at this point,” said Rebney. “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 dares greatly, hoping for a shot at UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre – imaginging Johny Hendricks becoming injured for the Nov. 16 title bout, leaving him to step up and in.
“You never know,” said Askren. “Crazier things have happened.”
Assuming things are a little less crazy than that, who would you like to see Askren fight first in the UFC?