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Dana White Bashes Bellator Business Practices, Has Zero Interest in Ben Askren

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

Dana White UFC on Fox 8 Post_9291-478x270UFC president Dana White criticized Bellator MMA’s business practices and said he has zero interest in signing recently released Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren following the UFC 167 pre-fight press conference in Las Vegas on Thursday.

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  • Suck Pump

    Does Ben Askren have a disease or something? I mean wtf he’s a champion ., why don’t anyone want the kid? Not trying to insult him, but who releases their current champ ? I guess White’s right on this one. What a f****** joke Bellator is ..

    • Brian

      UFC is just as big of a joke if they don’t sign him

  • dgs

    What a hypocritical, petty, jealous, disrespectful, and utterly contemptible human being. Everything that comes out of this man’s mouth is pure BS.

    I will double my efforts to support organizations like Bellator, including buying any of their PPV events (it has been many years that I’ve paid a dime for a UFC PPV). The thought of the UFC being the only MMA org in town is a scary thought indeed. Monopolies scare me in general, but they’re even worse when run by pompous, a-holes like Dana “F&cking” White.

    • Ryan thompson

      First thing you should do is lookup the definition of monopoly.

      • dgs

        I’m very well aware of what the definition of a monopoly is, no need to look it up.

        • Ryan thompson

          Then there’s no need for you to have such scary thoughts.
          I don’t think the government is going to grant the UFC exclusive privilege to promote mma fights.
          The UFC doesn’t have exclusive possession or control over mma. Anyone willing to put up capital can promote mma fights.

    • Cereal Killer

      The UFC doesn’t want their champ and neither does Bellator. What does that say about Bellator?

      • dgs

        The reasons for them not wanting Askren are not the same. Bellator doesn’t want him because his fighting style is one-dimensional and boring (a charge I agree with). Dana doesn’t want him because Dana is a petty a-hole, as the UFC has plenty of fighters like Askren (including their current champ GSP). I’m sure if Askren had come to the UFC first, Dana would be declaring him one of the best fighters in his org.

  • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

    This is really bad for Askren. I feel very bad for him. He’s now unemployed and whether or not he won fights in an entertaining fashion he’s an olympic caliber wrestler and an undefeated former Bellator champion he deserves more credit. As for Dana White, the guy just hates Bellator not because they are a threat but because of how they run the business. Dana actually wants more MMA promotions out there but with guys who can run it properly. The only thing I can think is Bellator figured the UFC would pick him up and wanted to look like good guys by letting him go after getting so much hit for the Eddie A. contract issue. WSOF hopefully picks him up. Wouldn’t mind seeing him and Fitch go at it.

    • bajafox

      Nailed it

    • BlanketFightersSuck

      You want to see the two most boring blanket fighters fight each other… Yeah, enjoy that snoozy **** fest.

      • Brian

        Watch Askrens fights he doesn’t just lay on guys he is constantly moving transitioning and striking from the top position he also stopped his last two opponents badly. He literally takes them down and slaps them around like they are his little brother before they eventually give up all hope and turtle. You can watch them just give up as everytime they think they are getting up there is a scramble and they just wind up back on bottom eating more punches. It is hilariously entertaining.

    • taylor2008

      Dana white reminds me of a little crybaby that always wants it his way. Its funny how he always points the finger at people or organizations that they arent doing things right. Pot calling the kettle black because Dana is guilty of that too.
      Askren is kind of boring but maybe he will evolve in the UFC. I would hire him. Let him work his way up.

      • Mark McDowall

        Why bring him to the UFC to let him evolve?? Let WSOF pick up the tab for that…then when he has gotten better bring him to the UFC. It would set him up for failure to bring him to the UFC right now. The kid has talent, he just needs to be more than just a wrestler.

        Think of it in Baseball terms. The UFC is the major league and Bellator, WSOF etc are the minors. Get better in the minors and then come up to the big game and show what you’ve got.

        • taylor2008

          Even in the UFC people have to climb the ladder. I think he has more talent than many of the people in there now. He is UFC ready. Just like the rest he will have to fight several times before he gets a shot.

          • Brian

            Sure no problem but he cant do that if they don’t sign him

          • taylor2008

            I am saying they should sign him. I want to see him in.

        • Brian

          He has already proven himself in the minors he is an undefeated multi time defending champ and Olympian his credentials are at least as good as Daniel Cormier who had the best credentials before coming to the UFC and he is younger.

          • Madmmax

            You can’t be seriously comparing him to Cormier. Cormier beat up a number of top 10 heavyweights before coming to the UFC. Askren has fought nobody of worth!

      • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

        Your right. What other organization could he prove himself in. I love WSOF but they are not deep enough just yet with competition. I don’t know why they didn’t just bring him over and not pay him anything crazy but still give him a shot to take on a top 10 fighter at least. I don’t know the whole story either but he wanted only top 5 and wouldn’t take anything else.

    • Mark McDowall

      You know I usually agree with you on most things…but I don’t totally agree with you here.

      1. Dana is right…A company lets their CHAMPION go. That has to tell you something. Bjorn said he’s a very one dimensional fighter, that is the truth. Beyond his current skill set, there may be personal reasons why they are letting him go. Who know’s how he is to deal with business wise etc.

      2. Yes he is an olympic wrestler. Yes he’s a champion in a frankly sub par organization to the UFC. That doesn’t give you an automatic pass in to the UFC.

      3. I think Askren would have gone to the UFC it would be another Hector Lombard situation. Unless Lombard goes on a HUGE tear he will go down as one of the biggest flops in UFC history. Askren would be the same…come in with alot of hype and do nothing with it.

      4. I think going to WSOF is a good thing for him. He must know that he has alot of things to work on, so use the time there to work on them and get better then make a bid to go to the UFC.

      • Brian

        4.If he winds up in wsof he will win the title and get the #1 ranking and never go to the UFC. 1.Your right from a business perspective he is very critical of TRT.2.Daniel Cormier3.Daniel Cormier

      • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

        If Askren wins in WSOF then he proves himself I guess. But I don’t know who he has to beat to impress somebody. Or maybe he just has to finish his fights?

      • jerbear50

        Bjorn calling Askren one-dimensional would carry a little more weight if half of their roster wasn’t filled with one-dimensional fighters.

  • Brian

    White isn’t anymore interested in the sport than Rebney. Askren is the best in the game.

    • Cereal Killer

      Askren is a UFC undercard at best.

      • Brian

        Did you see what he did to Quentin? Do you know who Quentin is the 2013 NCAA 195lb champ? Did you see the techniques Askren was using? Did you see his last two mma “fights”? Did you notice Kyle Drake the only 4time champ in 4 weight classes and usawrestling poster boy ducking him? Did you notice gsp coming out and publicly stating he is not afraid of Askren? Did you notice Dana scared shitless of having Askren beat his champ and bashing Askren? Did you notice Bellator giving up on having anyone give him a competitive fight? He is changing both sports. Unfortunately the UFC and other promoters are more interested in a b level fighter who plays rock em sock em robots than a real protege that is what is killing the sport.

        • The guest of guests

          Is that you Ben? Let’s be real here buddy, GSP would thwart the humpmaster that is Askren via jab/TDD. Sorry to burst your bubble.

          • Brian

            Really then why don’t they want to sign an undefeated Olympian in his prime who is ranked 5th in the world? Duck

          • The guest of guests

            Business ethics. GSP beats Humptydumpty, Humptydumpty continues to beat others with a dominant yet one-dimensional fighting style that is unappealing to the average fan. They could never advertise him for PPV and I honestly don’t believe he could beat GSP. It’s nothing personal, it’s business. Why do you think Fitch got cut? Because while he was 14-3-1 in the UFC he lacked excitement in the eyes of those who don’t respect technique. Satisfied?

          • Brian

            Askren is no humpty Dumpty and GSP isn’t beating him he will retire before facing him. He is also light years beyond Fitch. The UFC guys are seasoned C level wrestlers who came into the game late. Aksren was one of USA wrestlings best young talents of his generation who came into mma during his prime years he is still young and getting better. They want him back. Askren is also not boring if you saw his last two fights he put a vicious beating on those guys and stopped them. His ground and pound and submission game have improved not that it matters because you can’t get up and you certainly can’t stop the takedown don’t even think of putting your hands up to strike because you will be on your back if your not sprawling. He is not the same fighter Dana used to lament. Watching him steal his opponents souls is awesome he also talks mad trash and would sell just fine.

          • Brian

            Not signing the best talent because you think they are less marketable takes away any legitimate claim to a belt. MMA will need to have independent belts and cross promotions if this s*** keeps up.

          • The guest of guests

            Agree to disagree. Obviously Askren is a better wrestler than Fitch but that’s still the problem-he’s still strictly a wrestler. Sure his GnP is improving but you can’t really think he’ll hold GSP down. Georges is a MUCH more complete Mixed Martial Artist with wrestling experience on top of it along with more MMA experience. Mark my words, should Askren ever end up fighting St. Pierre (I wouldn’t complain) he will lose a UD and the rematch when Askren lovers call for it. It’s about time Askren finished someone, it’s only been 3 years and 5,000,000 punches.

          • Brian

            I can agree to disagree I who would win vs gsp but UFC has 80 welterweights on their website not signing the best talent cheapens the belt. He is ranked 5th in the world and undefeated he has earned his spot. They need to separate belts from organizations and promoters and have an independent world title if this trend continues.

          • Brian

            Let’s also not forget Dana publically said he was interested but matching rights were barrier so askren thinking UFC has real interest rejects whatever bellator offered him the. White immediately announces no interest and claims rebney isn’t playing askren fair?

          • The guest of guests

            This I can agree with. I can understand their side business-wise not picking him up, but being someone with morality I’d pick the kid up just to give him a shot at the big time and help his career blossom. Dana White isn’t a very virtuous person, he looks at things monetarily for the most part.

          • The guest of guests

            And trash-talking only works for so long advertisement-wise until people actually see his fights and wake up to realize they fell asleep and missed the rest of the fights.

          • Brian

            They are afraid he will beat their champ and won’t sell they underestimate their fans and it is insulting

          • Cereal Killer

            “Askren competed at the 74 kg. weight class in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Askren won his first match via pin against Hungarian István Veréb. In his round of 8 match he lost to Cuba’s Ivan Fundora 1–3 0–4. The Cuban’s loss to Russia’s Buvaisar Saitiev in the quarterfinal round ended Askren’s hopes to medal at the 2008 games.”

            He was a failure of an Olympian. Cut it out!

          • Brian

            He was 21 years old in the 2008 olympics the youngest member of the team. It takes time to adjust to international rules. He could have easily stayed in wrestling and done 2 more olympics wrestler reach there peaks in their 30s. He is still in his 20s. And he has challenged Jordan Burroughs the US olympic champ at his weight class after Drake. But he left USA wrestling as a baby they want him back.

        • Madmmax

          Dude. We understand the guy is a great wrestler. That’s not in question. All he’s done in Bellator is take guys down and hold the there for the duration of fights. That’s it!

          • Brian

            Not true he actually stopped his last two opponents (really put a beating on them) he is finishing fights now.

        • taylor2008

          Askren gets beat by 5 or 6 out of the top 10 Welters. Askren hasnt got hit yet by a good striker, or tangled with top level jitz.

          • Brian

            The guys he fought in Bellator had to go through a tourney to get to him. His last opponent was a actually great striker just no off his back. Askren outlanded him 273-3 in strikes,

          • taylor2008

            Ok…what well rounded guy did he beat that was a striker? There are millions of strikers. Bellator doesnt have the top well rounded strikers at welter. Askren gets beat by 5 or 6 out of the top 10 in UFC.

          • Brian

            You would think people would realize guys outside the UFC can fight by now. His last opponent looked like a very well rounded striker when he won the welterweight tourney and was ranked top 20. Just because a guy doesn’t fight in UFC or is from Russia and not promoted by Dana doesn’t mean he isn’t any good.

          • Brian

            Also the UFC has 80 welterweights on their roster on UFC.com your telling me they all deserve it more than Ben? Maybe he loses to a top 10 guy maybe he doesn’t but he isn’t the 81st best guy

          • taylor2008

            Where did I say people outside the UFC cant fight? You are putting words in my mouth. Doing that shows you are now spinning. I dont care what type of tourney he was in. The UFC is different. Didnt Riggs win that ultimate fighter competition that Bellator put on? Riggs isnt top 20 in the UFC.
            I agree Askren can fight and he is very good. He is NOT good enough to take the UFC belt. GSP will win no problem.

          • Brian

            Thats exactly what your saying when you say nonames the ufc is not that different. Riggs fought for the belt in the UFC btw. So your saying the UFC should base there decision to sign him on whether or not they feel he is a risk to beat GSP? It looks like thats exactly what they are doing.

          • taylor2008

            But the caliber of no-names is higher than in Bellator. Top 10 in UFC crushes top 10 in Bellator. I want askren in.
            By the way I am a Brian too.

          • taylor2008

            Ben split decisioned Jay Hieron. Jay Hieron couldnt hold a candle to any top 10 fighters in the UFC. Not even top 15. And he decisioned Lima. Shields would submit Askren. Keep trying.
            And like I said, Askren out struck a no name striker. Give it up Brian.

          • Brian

            Since when do we hold wins against fighters? Askren has gotten better. Also Heiron got 4 shots at the UFC? Askren out strikes everyone you cant punch from your back.

          • taylor2008

            Heiron got 4 shots and he is now out. Askren a split decision him. Most of the top guys KO, submit or UD Heiron. I say he comes to the UFC, but has to go through several guys. He wont beat GSP Hendricks, Shields or some others. He is not a champ in the UFC

      • Manuel Lopez

        I’m not a fan of Askren’s personality but what you just said isn’t true. He’s an undefeated champ and if you’re not gonna place any value on a guy that has stayed undefeated in this tough sport then I think you’re just being hateful.

  • Madmmax

    I don’t agree with White a lot of the times, but Askren is nothing but a wrestler. A very good one, but has got nothing else. I can’t be mad with him here

    • Brian

      Nothing but the best young olympic wrestler dodge trophy winner multi time ncaa champ to transition to mma ever in his prime go undefeated 12-0 (Cain was 2-0 when signed as an all american wrestler) win a championship then go back and beat one of the best wrestlers at wrestling while awaiting his next fight. Quentin had a 20lb advantage and Askren didn’t break a sweat just like he didnt break a sweat in his last mma fight. The bellator guys went through tourneys to get to him. He puts out technique mma and wrestling technique videos and is inventing new stuff. He doesnt look like he has ever even touched a weight just kills guys with technique takes 0 damage. He is ranked 5th in the world and every other guy in the top 10 is in the ufc. What more does he need to prove elsewhere? If it looks like Duck and quacks like a Duck it is a Duck. GSP and Dana want no part of Askren.

      • Frank Jamger

        I agree, except for the part about GSP not wanting him. Is mma exclusively about ‘exciting’ fights, or also about interesting style match-ups and measuring the top contenders against each other? Askren is a super wrestler, not yet tested against the best in mma, and I’m very curious how he would do in the UFC. If he never gets that chance, there will always be some doubt.

        • Brian

          It is a duck whether his promoter Dana is doing per his instructions or not GSP is being protected

  • Milosc

    He wants him to get through Fitch

  • wsf

    Lets not forget what MMA stands for. Wrestling is the most important aspect of MMA, and nobody does it better than Askren. Yes he is one dimensional,just like Palhares is,but his one dimensional skill dominates everybody else’s combined martial arts. Just like Ben was quoted after wining a fight,if you don’t like watching wrestling in MMA, there’s a sport called boxing. If you take out ground fighting in MMA because it’s considered boring, what you have left is basically kickboxing.

  • bulldog5311

    Bellator cannot afford to keep Askren on the roster. After signing Rampage, Tito, Fitch and retaining Alvarez, the Bellator pockets are empty. Askren was probably asking for a large raise/cut of the PPV money and we all saw the result of Bellator trying out PPV. Rebney is clearly a dirtbag, but I think not signing Askren was a good move. UFC doesn’t have any interest, amateur wrestling doesn’t pay, and coaching college wrestling is not going to satisfy Askren’s competitive spirit. In a few months/years Askren will be back at Bellator asking for a job at a much lower rate.

  • will

    I bet GSP can’t beat Ben in Disc Golf…just say’n

  • Manuel Lopez

    SO WHY CALL THIS MIXED MARTIAL ARTS, if you’re gonna look down on an undefeated guy that has outstanding grappling ability and wins, wins, wins and keeps on WINNING(GSP)! ‘One dimensional ‘ you say? ‘Boring style’ you say? Again, then why call it mixed martial arts if you fans will hate on anyone that keeps winning the same way, that uses their best skills to stay champion ? Because I’ve also noticed the hate some punchers get. You know, the ones that like to keep it standing and are good at keeping it on the feet because they aren’t so impressive on the ground. And how about you lay blame on these guy’s opponents. They KNOW they are going to face a wrestler that like to take it to the ground and yet they FAIL to establish their own game in that ring.

  • Brian

    I like most of the comments. From a business standpoint I think he is smart – because Askren is boring. From an MMA standpoint … this is a dumb decision. Why wouldn’t you want to take the best from another organization, give him 3 fights or so, and see how he stacks up? If the other guy in the octagon can’t stop a takedown or get up fom one, that is on him, not Askren!! I think true MMA fans would agree mostly with me.

  • Brian

    What happens if Askren does go to WSOF and beats Fitch and Burkman decisively? He is already ranked 5th if a couple UFC guys above him lose and he keeps wining you could wind up potentially with the #1 ranked welterweight in WSOF who now doesn’t want to come to the UFC anymore. How does that help the UFC?

    • lksjdf

      Who cares if he does that? Whoop ti f***ing doo

  • Brian

    There is also a lot of bad PR due to trt and doping in mma. Askren could be the poster boy for a clean sport.

  • Sprawl and Brawl

    Bottom line is no one wants to watch a wrestling match or it would be on TV by now. Dana HATES one dimensional guys who just lay on top of people to get the decision. Boring fight mean low ratings which is bad for business.

    • Brian

      Askren is also the matchmaker for AGON professional wrestling which is getting ready to have their second event. Watch the match he just had against Quentin it was very exciting. He doesn’t just lay on top he is constantly moving and inflicting fight ending damage last two fights. I for one am going to watch Ben wherever he fights and believe he will eventually be recognized as number 1 with or without the UFC.

  • Madmmax

    I’m really confused at reading all these comments. Bellator released Askren. ( according to Rebney is because ” he is ridiculously one dimensional “. Whether that’s his reason or had ulterior motives, the fact is that Askren was his fighter and he’s not resigning him. Why then, is Dana White and the UFC expected to give him a shot? How is it their responsibility to take him in? I really don’t understand how Dana is being the bad guy here. Is Bellator going to resign him now that the UFC passed on him? If not, then they’re the real assholes. Am I missing something here?

  • 101workoutmusic .

    Dana White you are a let to real mma fans. Ben Askren is honestly better than your Gsp and you are scared to loose Canadian fans once your pet gsp get his ass whipped by Ben. Very boring of you to hand pick gsp opponents and deny the fans to see gsp face real competition. I use to order most of the big ufc fights but getting too predictable. Gsp wins again because you and joe silva knows Hendricks does not have a chance to win. But your “promo” would have you believe otherwise.