Offer made, offer declined — with extreme prejudice.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told his welterweight champion and
restricted free agent Ben Askren that if he could get a title shot
on day one in the UFC, he would allow him to leave the promotion
immediately while waiving all matching rights.
Askren is currently out of contract after completing the last
fight on his deal with the company in July, but Bellator still has
matching rights for any offer he receives from another company. The
time period for the matching rights has not been confirmed, but
it’s rumored to last for around one year from the date of his final
For several years, Askren has been talking about an eventual
showdown with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, but so
long as he was under contract to Bellator the fight could never
Well, don’t expect St-Pierre vs. Askren to happen any time soon
because UFC president Dana White wants no part of Rebney’s games
and frankly he’s done talking about a promotion he considers
“I don’t give a s—t what they’re doing. They don’t matter
and I don’t care,” White said. “They’re playing f—king games.
I don’t care what they’re doing. It doesn’t matter.”
White isn’t sure what the motivation is for Bellator to let one
of their champions go so freely if he really is one of their best
fighters. Either way, don’t count on White handing out a contract
with a title shot attached to Askren any time soon.
“When you’re willing to let your f—king champion go? It’s
weird,” White said.
Askren remains on the sidelines in terms of his fight career
until a new contract can be negotiated, but he will got back to his
wrestling roots on October 27 in Las Vegas as part of the AGON
Wrestling Championships where he takes on fellow former NCAA
champion Quentin Wright in the main event.