Bellator’s welterweight champion Ben Askren is still in an awkward state of contract limbo. While he’s currently signed to Bellator, Bjorn Rebney has stated that he will likely not pursue a contract renewal. Meanwhile, the UFC has expressed an interest in bringing Askren on board, but has yet to make an official offer.
In a recent appearance on AXS TV’s Inside MMA, Rebney clarified the situation.
“What I said was I wouldn’t stand in his way of getting an offer – that I wouldn’t make him spend 90 or 100 days on the shelf negotiating with us,” Rebney said. “Ben said he wanted to go out and see what the UFC would offer. I said, ‘You know what? Let’s cut this short. You go out and see what they’ll offer, and we’ll make a determination from there.’ So right now, we’re just waiting for Ben to come back, show us the offer from the UFC and we’ll make a determination from there.”
Rebney added that he agrees with UFC president Dana White’s assessment that Askren is a “one-dimensional” fighter, but thinks that the champ will continue to dominate in either promotion.
“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 added. “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.”