Bellator Would Let Welterweight Champion Ben Askren Walk, If UFC Grants Immediate Title Shot

October 11, 2013
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Ben AskrenUndefeated Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren fulfilled the final fight of his current contract with his fourth-round TKO stoppage of Andrey Koreshkov in July.

He has since taken aim squarely at UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre.

In order to make that fight happen, Askren would have to sign with the UFC, who doesn’t like to do cross-promotional fights.

But even if the UFC would sign Askren, the champ’s current employer, Bellator, has the right to match any offer he receives until the end of July in 2014.

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, however, recently told ESPN that he wants to see Askren fight St-Pierre as well, and would even go so far as to grant his champion an immediate release from the matching period in his contract to make it happen.

That is if, and only if, the UFC would grant Askren an immediate title shot.

“Give him a title fight out of the box, which is not unreasonable given that he’s ranked in the top six in the world, and I’ll just walk away from our matching rights,” Rebney told ESPN.

That would be just fine by Askren, of course, but he knows that it could be a long shot to coax the UFC into an immediate title shot, and is under know false impressions if they don’t want to do that.

“Bjorn is saying if they give me a title shot, no matching rights,” said Askren. “He’s not saying if they give me a contract there’s no matching rights. If the UFC says, hey, no title shot, then all this is for nothing. I’d have to go back to the drawing board and talk to Bellator. See what their offer will be. See what’s going on. And at that point see what’s best for me.”

Askren is currently 12-0, having fought all but three of his fights under the Bellator banner. He has been the promotion’s champion since October of 2011 and has run rough shod over everyone Bellator has put in front of him.

Although UFC officials have made initial inquiries to Askren’s management, the fighter told ESPN that there are currently no offers on the table.

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  • Shakir Hanifa

    Bjorn is an idiot

  • TheCerealKiller

    Silly Ben and Bjorn. You haven’t fought a single fighter close to the top 20. Why should that earn you a title shot? Wrestle humping a list of unheard of’s, gets you a fight on a UFC FX undercard.

    • Wolf Ticket

      Come on dude, he has a split decision victory over Jay Hieron. If that doesn’t get you a shot at the UFC title then nothing will do it… 🙂

  • grashopper

    No wonder Bjorn does tournaments he isn’t no match maker.

    • What do you think of his tournaments? I think TUF is tougher considering it’s based on a few weeks of fighting several times if you win. Bellator is only what two or three fights and months apart?

      • shakejunt

        bellator tourney fights are like once a month, tuf probably the same until the last round. difference is bellator doesn’t allow elbows so recovery time is quicker.

  • drkdisciple

    Bjorn Rebney reminds me of a used car salesman….a whole lot of bs and very little truth.

  • 233

    ufc should make this fight only to show how inferior the best bellator fighters are compared to the best ufc fighters.

    • Wolf Ticket

      That’s what Bellator wants. GSP has only so many fights left in his career, UFC will not use him to promote Bellator, not to mention giving their fighter this big opportunity while letting their own fighters wait. Bjon knows this would never happen, so he has no problem offering it. Top ten move from “The guide for modern douche.” 🙂

  • Kenny Powers

    He’s ranked Top 6 in the world??!! What is Bjorn smokin? Give him Tarec Saffiedine to see where he stands, i mean lays…

  • The_Commentator

    Most boring fighter ever!

    • Blanket Bob

      Absolutely! Worse than Jon Fitch…blanket fighters have no honor or courage to fight a real fight.

      • Gary Fredericks

        Fitch at least had a good war of a fight with GSP and offered up some slick submissions. Askren, I still respect him for the fact he has figured out a way to win in a cage with trained fighters….albeit, a BORING way but I respect the absolutely crazy sick wrestling skills Askren has.

        • Blanket Bob

          I see your point but Matt Hughes had sick wresting skills and was entertaining as hell. People want to watch entertaining fights and the odds with Fitch and Askren is that you are mostly likely going to be bored for most the match…at that point who cares who won the fight.

      • al hmiel

        Askren cannot beat Nick Diaz

    • shakejunt

      idk yo, machida is up there. at least askren wins convincingly.

  • bajafox

    I’d rather see that matchup on the same night the title gets defended

  • Kyle Rayner

    Bjorn feels that if Ben were to beat GSP, his company and fighters stock would rise, claiming “Hey, our fighters are just as good as the UFC” still lame. He also thinks he’s slick. Ben comes to the UFC with a title shot no contract. Humps GSP and wins, returns to Bellator with the UFC welterweight belt. LOL Damn Trolls.

    • drkdisciple

      Bjorn should look at the impact Hector Lombard had on the ufc lol

    • Brad King

      never happen gsp will rape (dryhump bitch)him for 5 rounds

  • William Skrainski

    If his name was Chael, he’d get an immediate title shot..

  • shakejunt

    you know… that guy who you’re pretending to not know, but you still just happen migrate to the articles about him…

  • Scrote Morningwood

    He is hoping for an immediate title shot since the only footage of Askren fighting is with Bellator and for UFC to build the fight properly they would have to acquire Bellator footage for a fee. The man is not totally stupid, just totally transparent.

  • al hmiel

    Askren is more of a bottom feeder a prelim type of fighter in the UFC. Facebook prelim guy.

  • Ferpers

    “…is under know false impressions if they don’t want to do that.”

    “NO,” not “know”


    Give Askren, Carlos Condit, he loses, then Kampman He loses again, then any TUF winner he loses again, and will be fighting for Nick Diaz’s promotion

  • Brad King

    paharras will rip his limbs off and show him ufc employs men

  • al hmiel

    Askren cannot beat KJ Noons.

  • al hmiel

    Askren is more liked passed gas. You get a whiff of Askren and poof he’s gone.

  • jimmy73

    Just sign Chris Pendleton, he beat Askrens ass both times to win NCAA Championships……

  • al hmiel

    Askren is not very good

  • Pat Garret

    Seems Bjorn, like holding his fighters hostage (total control freak)