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Ben Askren completes Bellator contract

Ben Askren completes Bellator contract

Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren picked up his ninth win in the organization last night, pummeling tournament-winner Andrey Koreshkov for the better part of four rounds before securing a strike-based stoppage. It could also be his last victory under the Bellator banner.

According to CEO Bjorn Rebney, Askren’s bout at Bellator 97 was his final contracted clash. As such, “Funky” is now officially a restricted free agent. Bellator has an exclusive negotiating period to work on putting a new deal together and, though not confirmed, could very well have the right to match any offer sent Askren’s way.

Askren, a former Olympian, is 12-0 since transitioning to MMA with six stoppages and past success against the likes of Lyman Good, Jay Hieron, Karl Amoussou, and Douglas Lima.

FRONT PAGE PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR

16 COMMENTS
  • SBERG says:

    So basically Askren is now going to go the route of Alvarez? …..Limbo for the next few years ?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Only if he entertains offers from other orgs, if he just instantly signs a new contract then no biggie

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • SBERG says:

    I guess I just assumed he would try and make a play for the UFC .

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Screenplaya says:

    Dear UFC, sign this limited dude. Make a statement by having a top-tier well-rounded contender make a mockery of this guy and the title he held.

    Or let him go back to the minor leagues. You can use him as a yardstick to measure fighters you wish to sign later.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • hindsightufuk says:

    Screenplaya, do you actually watch Bellator? if you do i have no idea how you can call them or their top tier fighters minor league.

    as for Ben Askren, i enjoyed his fight with Koreshkov, wasnt exciting by any means but it was as dominant a win as i have seen in a long time. he was like an anaconda the way he was wrapping up Andreys limbs, it was crazy.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  • SBERG says:

    If Bellator’s first headline bout for a PPV is Rampage vs Tito they’re minor league…….

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Creature says:

    Say what you want about the org, but Pat Curran and Michael Chandler are far from being “minor league”.

    That being said I hope Ben “Ambien” Askren signs with the UFC. He his ridiculously high on himself and id love to see him get beat down by someone who’s actually in the top ten. He reminds me of Kos but with even less of a striking arsenal.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • SBERG says:

    I’m not doubting that they have some quality fighters but it’s a joke when your first PPV isn’t even headlined by your own talent…..I mean geezzz why not just get The Rock and John Cena to headline the card….Least that would sell…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Niv says:

    Bellator has an excellent product and some top tier talent as well, but I think venturing into the PPV realm may be their undoing.

    They should work on getting more money out of their TV deals and solidifying their position on network tv. PPV is not a place to go when your roster is still too small with not enough top end talent to justify the expense. The only way PPV will work is if they stack their PPV cards and arrange for a much lower price, as the $60 UFC rate is too high for most cards already.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i agree that the first venture into ppv is pretty lame, it has professional wrestling all over it. Tito and rampage seemed to be doing their best to fire up some interest but both looked like they couldnt be arsed.

    i think its a damn shame they are selling that fight as PPV, they have so much talent and simmering prospects, that fight should be a co main event to drum up some ‘fans’ who are strictly UFC knob jockeys.

    Also if both those guys were in the UFC and Zuffa was putting this fight on, you know it would be co main event. You know how many times Rampage has fought on a UFC card that wasnt a headliner or co main? Never
    you know how many times Tito has fought on a UFC card that wasnt a headliner or co main? quite a few actually and i cant be fucked to look it up.

    you know the UFC would promote the fuck out of this fight if they had it. two of the all time greats clashing, last chance to be a contender etc. Fuck if Nog/Couture gets to headline a UFC card this possibly would as well.

    To call this minor league is just pedantic, much as it sucks, its not minor league

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • hindsightufuk says:

    and Bellator have way more good fighters than just Curran and Chandler. please dont make me name them

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • THEGUNNER says:

    They have enough good fighters to keep me watching but they have no star fighters or tito vs rampage would be co main event while a intresting title fight would be main event status.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • fanoftna33 says:

    This was the first time I have had a chance to see Askren fight and I must say I was very impressed with how dominate he was. His striking looked very poor and pretty weak as he did not seem to put any power behind anything but it was more than enough to get the job done, and his grappling was so good. Loved how Jimmy Smith had to keep correcting Whelock though.Hope to see Askren stay in Bellator another year or two and build up the rest of his skills and then jump to the UFC, a fight with Ben and Maia could be pretty cool.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • SBERG says:

    I will say this, if Askren tries to go to UFC and ends up being in a situation like Eddie is it’s gonna reflect real bad on future signings by Bellator. That “protective talent ” or ” right to match” will come back to bite Bellator in the ass bigtime. Do you really want to have potential fighters thinking about that clause before they even sign with you?
    You might see more and more signing elsewhere with a better hope of reaching the UFC without all the legal hurdles Bellator seems to be presenting…..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Creature says:

    I never said they didn’t have more good fighters than Curran and Chandler, I know that they do. Its just that Curran and Chandler are on a level about anyone else they have IMO. They are both easily top 10 fighters if not top 5.

    And I really am not a fan of Askren lol.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    I don’t mind watching Askren fight. But I’m also a big fan of Jon Fitch.

    That said, I don’t see a place for him in the UFC. If Dana was willing to cut an established top 10er like Fitch, why would he go out of his way to try to get Funky. There’s no way Ben gets the same deal as Eddie cause he simply won’t sell the same way Eddie does and if Bellator is fighting tooth and nail to keep Alvarez, I think they can easily match or exceed any UFC offer on Askren.

    If Bellator continues to avoid getting good wrestlers in the WW division, then it’s foreseeable that Askren can continue his undefeated streak and position himself to be the most talked about fighter not in the UFC since Fedor. Then the UFC will HAVE to court him and he can play the orgs against each other.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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