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Askren: Only Challenges Left “are in the UFC”

Kelsey Mowatt

Ben Askren

A few eyebrows were raised throughout the MMA world recently when Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney relayed that the promotion likely wasn’t go to resign Ben Askren, and now the promotion’s welterweight champ continues to comment on his future.

In a follow up interview with MMA, Askren didn’t hide the fact that he’s excited to hear Bellator is expediting the process, which could see him land a spot on the UFC roster.

“I’m happy, more than anything, that they’re [waiving] the exclusive [negotiating] period, so now I don’t have to sit out 90 days before anything even starts to happen,” Askren said. “That’s definitely a positive thing.”

Now although there haven’t been reports of a UFC offer heading Askren’s way yet, UFC boss man Dana White recently acknowledged they were interested in talking to the undefeated free agent. Here’s some of what Askren had to say about his desire to move to the UFC, as well as Rebney’s recent comments, which included noting that “Funky’s” grinding style isn’t “for everyone.”

“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 Askren.

“I don’t know that there are any challenges left in Bellator, so yeah, I think the only challenges for me are in the UFC.”

It will be interesting to see what the UFC offers, if they make one, as Askren’s situation is somewhat complicated. The renowned wrestler is one of the planet’s best 170érs and could step into the UFC and compete with the promotion’s best, but questions remain about his marketability (despite consecutive stoppage wins). All this aside, increasingly it’s looking like Askren’s on his way out of Bellator.

Stay tuned to MMA for more on this story and all your Bellator news.

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