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

What Kind of Impact Can Chael Sonnen Make for Bellator?

  • 4 days ago
  • 10 views

Little by little, Bellator has chipped away at the UFC’s stable of talent, taking a supporting player here, a headliner there. From Phil Davis to Benson Henderson to Rory MacDonald, the additions hav read news >>

Eddie Alvarez Reportedly Missed the Boat to UFC New York, Offered Slot in Toronto | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 46 views

Eddie Alvarez reportedly missed his opportunity to fight at UFC 205 in New York, and has instead been offered a fight later in the year. read news >>

Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez in Doubt After Wild News Day

  • 4 days ago
  • 215 views

A day ago, a superfight between UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 was all but a certainty. The matchup makes all the sense in the world, read news >>

Bellator Announces MMA and Kickboxing Events in Italy | MMAWeekly.com

  • 3 days ago
  • 10 views

Within days of Bellator Kickboxing: Budapest, the Scott Coker-led promotion hosted a press conference in Florence, Italy to announce its next international event. read news >>

Khabib Nurmagomedov Taunts Eddie Alvarez, Conor McGregor Ahead of Next UFC Fight

  • 3 days ago
  • 119 views

UFC lightweight star Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed he’s waiting on champion Eddie Alvarez to sign a contract sanctioning an upcoming bout and has also sent a message to featherweight champion Cono read news >>

Liam McGeary vs. Phil Davis Headlines Bellator 163 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 2 days ago
  • 8 views

A light heavyweight title fight pitting current belt-holder Liam McGeary against Phil Davis will serve as the main event at Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis. read news >>

Bellator 163 takes shape with Liam McGeary vs. Phil Davis title headliner

  • 2 days ago
  • 6 views

The lineup is taking shape for November’s Bellator 163 event.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Roy Nelson Explains Why He Kicked Referee 'Big' John McCarthy | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 hours ago
  • 18 views

Roy Nelson scored a knockout win over Antonio Silva on the UFC Fight Night Brasilia main card, but what he did after the fight overshadowed the victory. read news >>

Roy Nelson: 'It just hurt me that I had to keep hitting the guy'

  • 13 hours ago
  • 26 views

Roy Nelson explains his actions after knocking out Antonio Silva.Bad stoppages are and will continue to be an issue in the sport of mixed martial arts. On one hand, some people will think those stopp read news >>

Third Time’s a Charm? Michael Page vs. Fernando Gonzalez Booked for Bellator in November

  • 27 days ago
  • 11 views

After originally being slated for Bellator 151 and Bellator 158, Michael “Venom” Page has again been booked to fight Fernando Gonzalez, this time in November. read news >>