MMA Quick Quote: Bellator 'tapped out' to UFC by letting Ben Askren go

USA TODAY Sports

"And it's all over!!!" Bellator MMA tapped out to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), according to Duke Roufus, who says Bellator didn't value their welterweight champion, Ben Askren, by not offering him a new contract and allowing him to negotiate with the ZUFFA-owned mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.

"I think it's pretty exciting for Ben to come over (to UFC). He's definitely going to go to the deep waters of UFC. We're going to see how well he's going to do in the UFC. I think it's not good for Bellator to say, 'Hey, let's let our champion go.' It helps Ben, but it hurts their organization in the long run. You have to value your champion. I'm not commenting negatively, I was at their last show with Ben, I thought they did a great job, but, how do you just let your champion go? You basically tapped out and said, 'We are second place to the UFC.'"

-- Ben Askren's trainer, Duke Roufus, doesn't understand why Bellator MMA would simply let go of their welterweight champion without a fight (via MMA Hour). Such is the case with Askren, who Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney decided wasn't worth a second look, effectively opening the door for a transition to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in Ben's quest to an eventual showdown against the company's 170-pound kingpin, Georges St. Pierre. But, according to Roufus, the move was simply Bellator tapping out to UFC and conceding once and for all that they are second place to the mixed martial arts (MMA) giant. Furthermore, Duke believes Bjorn and Co. didn't value their champion (and he may not be the first) by just letting him walk away. The Roufusport leader revealed that UFC execs and Askren are set to have talks this week as the promotion invades Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- Ben's home base -- for UFC 164 on Aug. 31, 2013. And by the sound of it, it could be the first step in Askren's eventual move to the Octagon. Or is it?

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