White: ‘No interest’ in Ben Askren

Former Olympian Ben Askren is now officially a free agent with

the ability to sign with any promotion, but the UFC will not be one

of his suitors.

Bellator formally announced on Thursday that they were releasing

Askren from his contract along with waiving any and all matching

rights they had to the most dominant welterweight champion the

promotion has ever had.

Despite his new free agency, UFC president Dana White says

nothing has changed in their views of Askren or their desire to

pursue him now that he can sign with any promotion.

“It doesn’t change anything. No interest,” White said about

Askren.

It says a lot about a fighter when the promotion who touts

Askren as their champion isn’t even willing to bring him back

according to White, and while he does sympathize with his

situation, the UFC just doesn’t want him at this point in time.

“They don’t want him. It’s their champion and they don’t want

him, what does that say? I don’t even care,” White said. “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 s—t hole. The fact that you would just give

away a guy who has gone undefeated for you, it just shows what kind

of people you are, what kind of business you do.”

The other underlying factor that White believes is still the

biggest reason they won’t go after Askren is because he doesn’t

believe the former Olympian is developed enough to land in the UFC

right now.

Askren has gone undefeated with a perfect 12-0 record while

competing in Bellator, but White doesn’t believe he’s had the kind

of quality wins that put him on the same level as the fighters in

the UFC.

“As far as the level he’s on, he barely beat Jay Hieron,” White

said. “He’s got some work to do, he can fight in another

organization and work his way up.”

The news will probably not sit well with Askren,

href="http://msn.foxsports.com/ufc/story/askren-targeting-a-future-111313"

target="_blank">who has been gunning for a chance to compete in

the UFC for several years. It’s unclear if another promotion

will actively pursue Askren or if he continue to pursue his new

role as a wrestler in the recently formed professional league Agon

Wrestling Championships.