Although Ben Askren’s wrestling based style and stifling top game isn’t everybody’s thing, that doesn’t change the fact that “Funky” could present many of the world’s top welterweights some serious difficulties. As a result, it’s kind of interesting to see what’s unfolding between Bellator and its welterweight champ, now that Askren’s a free agent. As the days unfold, increasingly it looks like Askren’s on his way out, which isn’t something a lot of people were predicting a few weeks ago.
Of course, most recently, Bellator’s boss man Bjorn Rebney announced that the promotion likely wouldn’t counter offer the UFC, if indeed the MMA titan tries to sign the undefeated Askren. Rebney credited Askren for his abilities, but also noted that the fighter’s style isn’t “for everyone.” So, what does the 29 year-old Askren have to say about Rebney’s latest comments? And the revelation that Bellator likely won’t get in his way if the UFC comes calling? Well, here’s some of what the talented wrestler had to say about these very questions in a recent interview with MMA Junkie.com.
“Honestly, I think it could be a ploy on their part to get the UFC to make a lower offer, so when they go to match it’s not as hard,” said Askren.
“I’m fairly indifferent to what [Rebney] said,” Askren said. “I got in MMA for one reason: to see if I could be the best in the world. Actually, he’s doing me a favor if he lets me go to the UFC and test myself. I mean, I wouldn’t be upset that I’m getting paid a bunch of money to beat up guys who aren’t as good as me, but I would like those challenges if it’s possible.”
“I don’t know that there are any challenges left in Bellator, so yeah, I think the only challenges for me are in the UFC.”
Oh, and in case you missed it, UFC President Dana White has acknowledged that the promotion is interested in talking to Askren, who it should also be noted, is coming off consecutive stoppage wins. Some fans may not like Askren’s approach to fighting, but things could get pretty interesting in the UFC welterweight division if he’s brought on board.
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