In response to the announcement that former Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren had become an unrestricted free agent, UFC president Dana White stated that he has no interest in signing the fighter.
“This doesn’t change anything,” White said at a recent UFC 167 press conference. “I have no interest. I’m sure [WSOF] will pick him up. He’s [Bellator’s] champion and they don’t want him. What does that say? What does that mean? I don’t even care about those guys whatsoever. I feel sorry for the kids that fight there. I truly feel sorry for the kids that have to be stuck in that sh**hole. And the fact you would just give away a guy who has gone undefeated for you just shows the kind of people you are. It just shows what kind of business you do.”
Askren previously toyed with the idea of an immediate, cross-promotional fight with Georges St-Pierre, but after White’s recent comments, that seems extremely unlikely.
“As far as the kid and what kind of level he’s on, he barely beat Jay Hieron,” White added. “He’s got some work to do and he can fight in another organization and work his way up.”
That’s bad news for Askren, who built his entire career around Bellator. Since winning the title in 2010, he’s defended it four times, advancing his record to 12-0.
With his Olympic wrestling credentials, a world title, and an undefeated record, it’s likely that the WSOF or ONE FC will extend him an offer. That’s probably not what Askren was hoping for though when he left Bellator.