Bjorn Rebney surprised more than a few people recently, when he relayed Bellator might not match any offer the UFC makes to welterweight champ Ben Askren, but it’s been kind of quiet since then. Askren has made it pretty clear that he’s hoping to sign with the UFC, but so far, no ZUFFA offer has been announced.
Rebney recently appeared on the latest edition of “Inside MMA”, and repeated that Bellator has cut its exclusive negotiating period, so that Askren can field offers from the UFC and other promotions. Not long ago, the CEO acknowledged that part of the reason the company is doing so, is because Askren’s grinding and wrestling based style isn’t for “everyone.” While discussing Askren once more on AXS TV, here’s what Rebney had to say about the champion and his awe inspiring wrestling skills (comment via MMA Junkie.com).
“I’ve been a staunch supporter of Ben Askren,” Rebney said. “We can all agree: He’s ridiculously one-dimensional. But the issue with that one dimension is that he’s better at it than anyone on the face of the earth. He’s been dominant inside of our cage. He’s the best wrestler in MMA that we have in this sport. So look, if you don’t like wrestling and you don’t like what Ben does, then stop it. That’s why they call it a fight. Ben famously said up in Canada, ‘If you want to see two guys stand in the middle of the cage and hit each other in the face, there’s a sport called boxing.’ He’s executed beautifully.”
“We’ll see what happens with Ben,” he said. “I don’t know if Ben will be with us, I don’t know if Ben will be with the UFC. But wherever he goes, he will remain dominant and he will remain amazingly effective at the one thing he does better than anybody.”
It’s kind of hard to imagine Askren back with Bellator at this juncture, but people thought the same thing about Eddie Alvarez. If Askren does wind up in the UFC, chances are some of the promotion’s established welterweights are going to pick up some losses.
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