A cross-promotional superfight between UFC champ Georges St-Pierre and Bellator champ Ben Askren might just be a dream. In the game of MMA chess between the two rival organizations, UFC President Dana White just tipped the board over and walked out of the room.
“They’re playing f–king games,” White said. “I don’t care. I don’t care what they’re doing. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney turned heads recently when he said he would not attempt to resign Askren if White and the UFC agreed to give Askren an immediate welterweight title shot.
Rebney of course fought hard to hold on to Eddie Alvarez, the former Bellator lightweight champion, who wanted badly to sign with the UFC. After the UFC made Alvarez an offer, Bellator exercised its right-to-match clause and made Alvarez a counter-offer that the company claimed was as lucrative as the UFC’s. Although both the UFC and Alvarez disagreed, Alvarez eventually decided to sign a new contract with Bellator, rather than face a long, money-losing court battle.
This time, Rebney said he would willingly part ways with the 12-0 Askren, only if Askren could get a title shot. Askren has hinted that he too wants to go to the UFC and fight St-Pierre.
Bellator and the UFC are locked in a battle for MMA supremacy. Although the UFC is the biggest MMA company in the world, Bellator is owned by Viacom, which has poured many resources into Bellator to challenge the UFC. Bellator has recently signed UFC legends such as Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Although Rebney has appeared to be less controlling of the Askren situation, insiders believe that if the UFC did make a serious attempt to sign the two-time state high school wrestling champion, Rebney would fight hard to keep him.
White also recently said that Bellator has “no value,” and that the UFC would never purchase the company.