Bellator's Rebney: I'll let Ben Askren go if UFC gives him immediate title shot


ben-askren-9.jpgBen Askren isn’t the only one who wants Ben Askren to fight Georges St-Pierre.

His boss is willing to become his former boss right away if it means the Bellator welterweight champion gets an immediate shot at the UFC’s champ.

Recently on his official Twitter account, Askren (12-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) said he’s got no plans to leave the sport before fighting St-Pierre. Included among the wrestler’s tweets was one saying he would “lay on GSP for as long as I damn well please.”

Now the free agent’s boss, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, may be getting in on the act.

Askren told ESPN.com that Rebney told him he would straight up waive Bellator’s matching rights if the UFC offered him a deal that guaranteed him a title shot in his first fight with the promotion.

St-Pierre, the UFC’s current 170-pound champion, defends his title next month against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in Las Vegas.

“If you want to say the best fighters in the world fight in your organization and one becomes available and you have the unfettered right to talk to him, pick up the phone and call him,” Rebney told ESPN.com. “… Give him a title fight out of the box, which is not unreasonable given that he’s ranked in the top six in the world, and I’ll just walk away from our matching rights. So I’m making it as simple as I can possibly make it for them to live up to what they claim. Go for it. Or don’t go for and I’ll re-sign him.”

Askren, a four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler, most recently fought in July, when he stopped Andrey Koreshkov with a fourth-round TKO at Bellator 97. Before that, he stopped Karl Amoussou after three rounds. The two stoppages broke a streak of six straight decision wins – decisions that led to plenty of criticism from fans, from UFC President Dana White and even in some ways from Rebney.

“I’ve been a staunch supporter of Ben Askren,” Rebney recently said. “We can all agree: He’s ridiculously one-dimensional. But the issue with that one dimension is that he’s better at it than anyone on the face of the earth. … I don’t know if Ben will be with us, I don’t know if Ben will be with the UFC. But wherever he goes, he will remain dominant and he will remain amazingly effective at the one thing he does better than anybody.”

Askren told ESPN.com he had not yet received an offer from the UFC. Whether the Missouri product winds up there or returns to Bellator remains to be seen.

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

(Pictured: Ben Askren)

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