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Bellator not interested in re-signing Ben Askren, willing to help expedite a 'Funky' transition to UFC

In my best Admiral Ackbar voice: "IT'S A TRAP!"


Former two-time NCAA champion and U.S. Olympic wrestler, Ben Askren, is undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career, compiling a perfect 12-0 record with three submission wins and two recent back-to-back technical knockout (TKO) victories.

Bellator, which crowned him welterweight champion back in 2010, is not impressed.

That could explain why promotion CEO Bjorn Rebney is in no big hurry to re-sign the "Funky" 170 pounder, who became eligible to fight for competing promotions -- like Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) -- earlier this month at the conclusion of his current contract.

Rebney explains his position to

"I don't think we're going to make an offer at this point, so I don't see any reason to make anybody sit out. If Ben's going to go to the UFC, we should speed up that process so he can go fight. I'd love to see Ben versus GSP. If the UFC does make an offer, we'll take a look at it and move on from there. We haven't been proactive yet. I have nothing but good things to say about Ben as a fighter, but we're all very aware of how he fights and what he does -- it's not for everyone."

In layman's terms that means, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

Naturally, this could be lip service in an attempt to downplay the promotion's poor public image when it comes to contract negotiations, which first came to light during the Eddie Alvarez debacle. Further complaints from Chris Weidman and Paul Daleyamong others, only made matters worse.

And there is no guarantee the same thing won't happen when the offers start trickling in for Askren.

That all depends on how much Viacom wants to stick it to ZUFFA after its falling out over the FOX deal (details). Unless, of course, they just don't like Askren's style, which has been criticized in the past for its heavy emphasis on wrestling and top position.

Sound familiar?

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