bjorn-rebney-bellator-108ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Even though Bjorn Rebney said he has a very good reason to keep Eddie Alvarez under contract and not Ben Askren, the Bellator MMA chairman and CEO had harsh words for his rivals at the UFC, who’ve apparently taken a pass on the latter.

Rebney, speaking after Friday’s Bellator 108 event in Atlantic City, N.J., recently concluded a lengthy legal (and public-relations) battle to keep newly crowned lightweight champion Alvarez under contract. However, he said he has sound financial reasoning for not putting forth the same effort to keep Askren, its longtime welterweight champion.

Askren, of course, was officially released earlier this week when Bellator opted to drop its matching rights.

“It’s just two totally different fighters – totally, completely different fighters with different personas, different fighting styles, different upsides, different downsides, different fan connections,” he told MMAjunkie. “I don’t know that there are two fighters more different in the MMA space than Eddie Alvarez and Ben Askren.”

Despite his decision to ultimately pass on Askren, Rebney said he and the undefeated fighter had “a lot of conversations and a lot of discussions” about a new deal. However, he said it ultimately didn’t make economic sense to keep the former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion and 2008 Olympian under contract due to his ground-based fighting style.

“I made him a series of offers,” Rebney said. “He didn’t feel the offers made sense for him from an economic standpoint, and at that point, it just made sense … to give him his out-and-out release and let him go do whatever he wants.

” … This has always been a business, and I’ve always approached it like a business. I never approached it like a fan or like a guy who’s on a losing streak who keeps throwing money down on the craps table. It’s all about economics. It’s about profit and loss. There are just some circumstances where you’re going to look at a guy like Ben and say, ‘OK, what kind of a revenue generator can he be? Where are we as a company able to monetize Ben? How much does Ben want to stay here, and does it make sense to up that offer?’ When I did that math, it didn’t make sense. Ben wanted more, and that’s his right.”

However, Rebney criticized the UFC’s decision to pass on Askren (12-0), who’s ranked No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA welterweight rankings. Earlier this week, UFC President Dana White said the organization has “no interest” in the fighter, though Askren later told MMAjunkie he’s optimistic UFC officials will change their mind.

While Bellator ultimately took a pass, Rebney said he has a reason to criticize White’s decision for doing the same thing.

“I think it’s disingenuous and ridiculous,” he said. “If you stand up consistently at every press conference and in every media scrum and say the greatest fighters in the world fight here, and the No. 6 ranked welterweight in the world becomes available unrestricted with no matching rights – and you don’t even make him an offer – then you need to stop saying the best fighters in the world fight there.

“There are an awful lot of fighters in the UFC that Ben Askren could beat 99 out of a hundred fights, many of them at the top of the division.”

For more on Bellator’s and the UFC’s schedules, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Bjorn Rebney)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Scott Coker: Bellator's 'Phone's Been Ringing' with Upset UFC Fighters

  • 11 days ago
  • 33 views

The unveiling of the UFC’s new sponsorship program with Reebok already has some fighters flirting with Bellator, according to Scott Coker. In an interview with MMAFighting.com's Luke Thomas, the Bell read news >>

Eduardo Dantas explains why he didn't cancel tonight's Bellator 137 co-headliner

  • 7 days ago
  • 1 views

For a brief amount of time, Eduardo Dantas figured he wouldn’t be fighting in tonight’s Bellator 137 co-headliner. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

ONE Valor of Champions Results: Ben Askren Title Defense Marred by Controversy

  • 28 days ago
  • 21 views

ONE Championship welterweight champ Ben Askren appeared to be in for a hard night, but his bout with Luis Santos ended early and in controversy. read news >>

Video: Ben Askren eye pokes Luis Santos, ends ONE 21 title fight via 'no contest'

  • 28 days ago
  • 278 views

Video: Ben Askren eye pokes Luis Santos, ends ONE 21 title fight via "no contest" in the main event of ONE: "Valor of Champions" on Friday (April 24, 2015) inside the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Ph read news >>

ONE Championship 26 results: Askren vs. Santos ends in bizarre no-contest

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

Ben Askren didn’t get the win today at ONE Championship 26. However, he’s still undefeated with the organization’s welterweight championship around his waist.Filed under: Featured, News read news >>

ONE Championship 26 results: Ben Askren vs. Luis Santos ruled no contest after bizarre scene in Manila

  • 28 days ago
  • 33 views

Ben Askren may have retained his ONE welterweight title, but not in a way he would've liked. Askren's main event fight against Luis Santos at ONE Championship 26 ended in bizarre fashion on Friday ni read news >>

Invicta champ Katja Kankaanpaa explains how she got the nickname 'Killer Bunny'

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

A little pain went a long way. Katja Kankaanpaa, Invicta FC's women's strawweight champion, has one of the most unique nicknames in all of MMA: "Killer Bunny." The story of how she got it starts with read news >>

'UFC 186 Embedded,' No. 2: 'Isn't your black ass supposed to be at Bellator?'

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

In the second episode of “UFC 186 Embedded,” which previews Saturday’s pay-per-view event in Montreal, headliner and flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson doesn’t miss a chance to zing main-carder Qu read news >>

Michael Page vs. Rudy Bears set for Bellator 140

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

Bellator 140 is getting a little more exciting with the addition of a welterweight battle between Michael Page vs. Rudy Bears.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>