Dana White To Ben Askren: Go To WSOF, There’s Competition There

Former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren recently received his controversial release from Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. It was a puzzling move because Askren is an undefeated fighter who has appeared dominant in his tenure with Bellator.

But Rebney labeled him “one-dimensional,” and while that may be true, he still released his champion. UFC President Dana White thought that the move spoke volumes about Bellator, but that doesn’t mean he was necessarily ready to sign Askren to the UFC.

Instead, White said Askren should make his way to World Series of Fighting to prove his worth, telling MMA Junkie:

“I wasn’t even going to say this, because it sounds like I’m just s—ting on them, but there’s just no competition for him over at Bellator. There’s competition for him at World Series of Fighting. This kid will probably sign with them. I don’t know (since) they’ve got to come to an agreement and a deal. But if he does, there’s actual competition for him there.”

Askren may want to prove that he can hang with the best in the Octagon, but White makes a great point when he says that WSOF does offer some competition for the smothering wrestling ability of Askren.

He could potentially face off with WSOF welterweight champion Steve Carl, former UFC contender Jon Fitch, Josh Burkman, or even newly signed UFC castoff Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares. Askren still has a lot to prove, and fighting any one of those four names would go a long way in showing he deserves to fight in the UFC.

Ray Sefo’s WSOF is a young upstart promotion that is still struggling to find its identity. But thankfully for Askren, their welterweight division has already arrived. If he truly wants to continue fighting in MMA, Askren would do well to listen carefully to any contract offers from the new promotion. Does he have the skills to defeat Carl and Fitch, or will his run in Bellator prove to be the product of fighting substandard talent?



12 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Akordas

    Akordas

    November 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Win over Jon Fitch and John Burkman = welcome to ufc

    • Profile photo of DeeJaySlyTee

      DeeJaySlyTee

      November 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Dana White has a huge EGO. This has nothing to do with the kid but the promotion company were he is coming from. SMH.

      • Profile photo of IGMBurninPiff

        IGMBurninPiff

        November 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm

        @DeeJaySlyTee that's nonsense. The UFC went to war for Eddie Alverez. Look at what they paid Lombard (obviously his whole streak wasn't just Bellator). The UFC is going to chomp at the bits for Michael Chandler and Eddie when their contracts run out. Askren, while being undefeated he's definitely not going to sell tickets, but he also doesn't have the resume to prove he could handle the UFC's toughest division

        • Profile photo of diamond-mma2

          diamond-mma2

          November 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm

          most times i do agreed with Dana, but talking about resumes to fight in the UFC..MANY fighters dont have a solid resume and they still get a UFC contract, Jones had like 6 fghts in "Rendom" organizations and still got a UFC contract…i think this is not about who Ben has and has not fought because that doest make sence.easy fx get him n the UFC see where he lands…but the real issue is that like Dana says..going out and show your worth and likely Ben is asking for alot more money than the UFC is will to pay and has nothing to do with his record or resume

  2. Profile photo of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    November 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    "If" Ben does sign with the WSOF, which, if he wishes to continue to fight, is the only option available to him, then my guess is White wants to see him fight Rafael Palhares. If Askren can take RP out, then he's an idiot if he doesn't sign him.

    "If" Ben signs with the WSOF, he should try and just take one fight…Palhares…and then see where he sits.

    Other than that, I guess Dana isn't interested in seeing the best in the world in the UFC, because Ben is most certainly one of the best 170 pounders on the planet.

  3. Profile photo of matt1926

    matt1926

    November 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Intriguing matchups for sure. I would love to see Ben vs. Fitch or Palhares.

  4. Profile photo of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    November 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    "If" Ben does sign with the WSOF, which, if he wishes to continue to fight is the only option available to him, then my guess is White wants to see him fight Rafael Palhares. If Askren can take RP out, then he's an idiot if he doesn't sign him.

    "If" Ben signs with the WSOF, he should try and just take one fight…Palhares…and then see where he sits.

    Other than that, I guess Dana isn't interested in seeing the best in the world in the UFC, because Ben is most certainly one of the best 170 pounders on the planet.

  5. Profile photo of fightgame

    fightgame

    November 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I do not, and I have never cared, what Dana White has had to say about anything. Shame on Bellator for releasing their No 1, and shame on the UFC for acting like the fools that they are. There are rules in MMA – if you think that you are tough, then get in the cage and beat the champion. I do not understand all the whining – since when has dominant become 'one dimensional'? You all need a reality check.

    • Profile photo of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      November 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Fightgame…Bellator didn't actually let Ben go, they released him. Askren told Rebney that under no circumstances was he going to sign with BMMA and Bjorn did the honorable thing and let him out of his contract. If he hadn't done that, BMMA could have kept him on the shelf until June of next year. At that point, their matching rights clauses would have expired and Ben would've been a free agent.

  6. Profile photo of N.C.

    N.C.

    November 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    So funny… now world series is the new Bellator. lol

    The neutral side that Dana sends talent he can't fit. lol

  7. Profile photo of Drago

    Drago

    December 2, 2013 at 5:11 am

    It may be about EGO but im sure its mostly about MONEY! All the guys the UFC has cut and that were top ranked got payed a lot (at least in comparison with other contracted fighters) and they weren't delivered as expected! I said that in another thread…

    You guys are clearly missing the obvious… The "unknown" fighters or the "guys with a lesser fight record" dont want to get payed the same way Askren wants. The UFC pays to thous guys 5 or 10k for show (x2 if they win) while Askren most definitely wants 50 or 100k just to show up. Askren is known to us fans, people who follow up the sport closely, but his just unknown to the "masses" or casual funs in the same way that that a fighter who makes is day-view but gets payed way less. So, while the UFC can probably sign a newcomer a 1-2 fight deal and pay him/her 5k to fight, Askren probably wants a 3-5 fight deal and receive 50k to fight. So I understand the UFC decision in terms of financial gains.

    In terms of fighting "status", IMO Askren is a good fighter and has great grappling skills. That said, I think he should had lost the decision vs Hieron, it was a very close fight a thought Hieron won. So he won a close decision to a guy (and IMO should had lost…) who is 0-4 in the UFC… His style is boring to watch and I dont think for a second he could hand with the top of the UFC WW division, I mean what could he do against, lets say Rory? How about Hendriks? Do you think he could win agains Maia or Shields…? I for one wasnt excited to see him in the UFC, let him get more experience and see how he faces agains Fitch or Toquinho, then will talk again…

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