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

VIDEO: Bellator Continues to Rekindle Pride FC Spectacle

  • 28 days ago
  • 15 views

Although it's unlikely that the efforts of Bellator or Rizin will ever bring back the golden era of Pride FC, that hasn't stopped them from trying. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 90 Free Fight: Eddie Alvarez Defeats Former Champ Anthony Pettis

  • 28 days ago
  • 42 views

In his third UFC fight Eddie Alvarez defeated former champ Anthony Pettis. He faces Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title at Fight Night Las Vegas on July 7. read news >>

VIDEO: Jon Jones Would Prefer Any Other Ref to Big John McCarthy at UFC 200

  • 26 days ago
  • 430 views

Jon Jones explains why he doesn't want Big John McCarthy refereeing his rematch with Daniel Cormier or any of his fights. read news >>

UFC 200 Fight Week Conference Call Replay: Dos Anjos vs. Alvarez and Aldo vs. Edgar

  • 26 days ago
  • 16 views

Rafael dos Anjos and Eddie Alvarez, as well as Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar fielded questions from the media on Tuesday. Listen in for all they had to say. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 90 Battle Lines Video: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez

  • 26 days ago
  • 61 views

Get alook at the lives of the two men training for their upcoming UFC lightweight title fight: champion Rafael Dos Anjos and challenger Eddie Alvarez. read news >>

Bellator 159 Fight Card Complete with Addition of Three New Bouts

  • 25 days ago
  • 11 views

A gem of a featherweight contest pitting Emmanuel Sanchez and Daniel “The Weasel” Weichel has been added to the main card of Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo. read news >>

Bellator Dynamite 2 Highlights Video: Rampage Edges Ishii, Chandler Takes Back the Belt

  • 25 days ago
  • 23 views

Check out the highlights from Bellator: Dynamite 2, where Rampage Jackson returned and Michael Chandler regained the lightweight championship. read news >>

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez: The Complete Breakdown

  • 24 days ago
  • 35 views

Lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (25-7; 14-5 UFC) opens the International Fight Week festivities on July 7 by defending his title against well-traveled veteran Eddie Alvarez (27-4; 2-1 UFC). Alv read news >>

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez: The Complete Breakdown

  • 24 days ago
  • 20 views

Lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (25-7; 14-5 UFC) opens the International Fight Week festivities on July 7 by defending his title against well-traveled veteran Eddie Alvarez (27-4; 2-1 UFC). Alv read news >>

Matt Mitrione Gets Medical Clearance for Bellator 158: London

  • 23 days ago
  • 23 views

Matt Mitrione has cleared medical testing and will now face “Britain’s Strongest Man” winner Oli Thompson during the main card of Bellator 158: London. read news >>