Duke Roufus: Bellator tapping out over Askren

Friday, August 30, 2013

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.