Things got a little quiet there for a while on the Ben Askren front, after Bellator’s Bjorn Rebney announced in August that he probably would let the welterweight champ head to the UFC, but now things are heating up once again.
Initially, UF C President Dana White said they would be interested in talking to the undefeated Askren, but since then, no offer has reportedly been tabled. In addition, the UFC boss man has continued to blast Bellator’s contracts and the promotion’s matching rights. Well, in a recent story by ESPN.com about Askren and his free agent status, Rebney relayed the following to the UFC and White.
“If you want to say the best fighters in the world fight in your organization and one becomes available and you have the unfettered right to talk to him, pick up the phone and call him. And if you claim our matching rights are so prohibitive — the exact same matching rights that you have in your agreement — then give him a title fight out of the box, which is not unreasonable given that he’s ranked in the top six in the world, and I’ll just walk away from our matching rights. So I’m making it as simple as I can possibly make it for them to live up to what they claim. Go for it. Or don’t go for and I’ll re-sign him. And if you want to fight the best you can come here to Bellator, train your wrestling like a wild dog, and try to beat Ben Askren.”
That’s an interesting challenge no? Although it’s not likely to happen. Askren may be one of the planet’s best 170’ers, and could probably give GSP (or Johny Hendricks) some problems, but he’s not a household name yet. The UFC would almost certainly want Askren to beat a top contender first.
Hopefully for “Funky” his contract situation gets worked out soon and he can get back to fighting.
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