Bellator will release Askren if he gets title shot at GSP
Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren is currently a free agent. However, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebeny does not particularly eager to keep him on the roster, and is waiting for the UFC to make an offer that he could then match.
“If Ben’s going to go to the UFC, we should speed up that process so he can go fight,” said Rebney in August.
“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.”
“Until the wrestling game evolves they’re going to have big problems with a guy like Ben Askren. He does what he does, takes them out of their environment, and that makes for incredibly lopsided fights.”
Less than a year ago UFC president Dana White tweeted “when Ambien can’t sleep it takes Ben Askren.”
While the UFC has had preliminary discussions with Askren’s management, no offer has been made.
This week Rebney called up Askren with an unusual offer, one that Askren wants to jump at.
“He just called me and said straight up, ‘I think you’re the best welterweight in the world,'” Askren said. “I thought, OK, where’s he going with this?”
Rebney wondered aloud: “How about I let you go free if you fight GSP?”
“Dana says, ‘Don’t sing it, bring it.’ Sounds good to me,” Askren said. “I’ll step in the cage any day of the week. Just tell me when. That would be ideal.”
“The reason I got into MMA was to see if I could be the best in the world at it. That’s just my personality. So, boom, this is my shot to prove I’m No. 1 in the world. I really think I am No. 1 in the world. I don’t think there’s anyone that can beat me. This is what I want. It’s what I’m looking for.”
“I think on Dana’s side, it will work out well. If GSP beats my ass, I think he says, ‘See, UFC is much better than Bellator.’ I think if I kick GSP’s ass, I could be a very good UFC champion. One that sticks around for a while. One that is entertaining to the fans. Because GSP was entertaining, but honestly the last time he had a real finish I was wrestling in the U.S. Open [in 2008]. I hadn’t even considered MMA at that point. And his whole shtick. He’s quiet. Very little personality. I could put the UFC welterweight division back on the map because no one really, legitimately gave GSP a run for his money.”
The last time White mentioned Rebney, his words did not indicate an overwhelming desire to work with Bellator.
“The guy says, ‘Yeah, we’re going to let him go. Let’s just part ways,'” said White. “You ain’t f—ing parting ways with him. He’s got a matching right and all that bulls—. This guy is a f—ing typical boxing piece of s—. Everybody knows the guy is a s—bag.