ben-askren-9.jpgReigning Bellator MMA welterweight champion Ben Askren (12-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) currently resides on contractual purgatory, but he’s not letting the uncertainty bring him down. In fact, Askren said if he never fights again, he’ll still be satisfied with what lies ahead.

“I’m not really worried about my MMA career,” Askren told “I’ve had a great career so far, and we’ll see what happens going forward. It will probably get interesting from here.”

The undefeated Askren is a former collegiate wrestling standout, earning two NCAA Division I titles and securing All-American status four times while competing for Missouri. He also competed in the 2008 Olympic Games but failed to medal.

He made his professional MMA debut in 2009, and after three first-round finishes was signed by the upstart Bellator MMA promotion, then in just its second season. Askren promptly claimed the promotion’s Season 2 welterweight tournament title and then defeated then-champ Lyman Good.

Askren has since defended his belt four times, but his contract with the promotion expired following his July win over Andrey Koreshkov.

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney publicly stated he didn’t intend to offer Askren a new deal, but the company has yet to offer the champ an outright release and according to Askren still maintains the right to match any offers made for his services.

“Bjorn told me that exact same phrase on the phone before he said it publicly, which, whatever,” Askren said. “He has his opinion. I think it was a play to get the UFC to offer less money so he can match easier. Obviously, it’s like playing poker. Sometimes you’ve got to say something you don’t really mean here and there.

“I don’t know. I’m trying to read Bjorn. He said he’s going to let me go, but he didn’t waive the matching period, obviously. It’s like saying you’ll let your dog go, but you still have a leash on him. So, we’ll see. It’s going to get interesting.”

UFC President Dana White has admitted the promotion is interesting in bringing Askren to the octagon, but the company is obviously hesitant to get involved in another ugly contract situation following the lengthy Eddie Alvarez debacle. Askren was photographed with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva backstage at August’s UFC 164 weigh-in ceremony, but he insists the UFC has not yet made an official offer.

“I think the UFC just wanted to put that out there, of course; they’re interested,” Askren said. “Obviously there’s the year match period with Bellator, and the UFC had quite the – I don’t know what you want to say, troubles – with the Eddie Alvarez matching period. So I think they’re a little weary of that, but we’ll see what happens.”

In the meantime, Askren has returned to his wrestling roots, and he’ll headline the new all-wrestling Agon Wrestling Championships event, which takes place Oct. 27 in Las Vegas.

When (or if) he’ll return to MMA remains to be seen. Should he have his eyes set on the UFC, he may indeed be forced to wait a full year to make such a move. But if you think the uncertainty is frustrating for Askren, you would be mistaken. The 29-year-old Roufusport fighter said he realizes nothing in life is guaranteed, and he’s at peace with whatever comes next.

“If my career ended tomorrow because of an ACL injury or something, whatever, I’m fine,” Askren said. “From when I was a kid, I’ve accomplished more than any kid could dream of across wrestling and MMA. Between the two, I’ve dually accomplished more than almost anyone, ever, has done in both sports. So I’m perfectly happy with the way my career was gone.

“I would love to get the shot to fight for the UFC title, and if I go back to Bellator and have to fight for a lot of money, then that’s not really something to be salty about either. That was kind of one thing I was shocked about Eddie. He wanted to go to court and fight about it. It’s like, ‘Dude, you’re going to get almost $400,000 for your first fight. There’s some people that work every day for $8 an hour. You’re bitching about $400,000 for a fight? Dude, you’re really not that hard up, Go work for $8 an hour at Lowe’s or taking out the trash and then complain about your life.’

“If I get paid a lot to fight, I’ll fight. If I don’t, I’ll probably retire and be perfectly happy with my MMA career. I have two wrestling academies. We have a wrestling camp system, and I’m really passionate about those things. I love doing those things. So honestly, there’s a lot of different ways this can end, and I think every single one of them has a positive ending for me.”

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

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Kimbo Slice to Return to Bellator MMA Opposite Dada 5000 in February Event

  • 19 days ago

During the Bellator 145 broadcast, Bellator President Scott Coker announced their next big tentpole event, and they have a wild pair of headlining fights set. In the main event, UFC and MMA legends K read news >>

Josh Koscheck Headlines Bellator 148 Against Matt Secor

  • 9 days ago

The highly anticipated Bellator MMA debut of Josh Koscheck (17-10) will take place in his home town of Fresno, Calif. on January 29 at Bellator 148: Koscheck vs. Secor. read news >>

Bellator Plans Aggressive Global Expansion in 2016

  • 8 days ago

Bellator MMA is set to take its cage outside North America for the first time with an aggressive global expansion plan for 2016. read news >>

Hisaki Kato not worried about handing Melvin Manhoef further damage at Bellator 146

  • 7 days ago

Hisaki Kato is ready to deliver an equally impressive encore performance following his “Knockout of the Year” candidate against Joe Schilling in his Bellator debut earlier this year.Filed under: Bell read news >>

Bellator 146 Results: Melvin Manhoef Adds to List of Career Knockout Wins

  • 5 days ago

Melvin Manhoef earned his 28th career knockout with a first-round finish of Hisaki Kato at Bellator 146 in Thackerville, Okla. on Friday evening. read news >>

Bellator 146 video: Melvin Manhoef scores 28th knockout in 30th career win

  • 5 days ago

One thing is nearly certain when Melvin Manhoef fights: You’re going to see a knockout – whether he’s on the giving or receiving end.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

Lineup set for Bellator 146 with Derek Campos vs. Brandon Girtz rematch, six prelims

  • 26 days ago

The lineup is set for Bellator’s return to Oklahoma next month with the addition of a lightweight rematch, plus six prelims. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Video: Is Ronda Rousey's next career in boxing? Or jiu-jitsu? Or the WWE?

  • 26 days ago

Ronda Rousey’s crossover appeal is bordering on the ridiculous at this point – in a great way for her and MMA. But down the road, she has her sights set on winning a boxing title, too. Filed under: F read news >>

Oscar De La Hoya Wants to Promote Ronda Rousey's Potential Boxing Career

  • 26 days ago

UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey stated this week that her future athletic goals extend beyond the octagon, including a potential foray into boxing. If that happens, former world champi read news >>

Will Brooks supports Dustin Poirier not fighting at UFC Dublin: I'd do the same thing

  • 27 days ago

Bellator champion Will Brooks is never afraid to speak his mind. And when it comes to Joseph Duffy’s last-minute withdrawal from UFC Fight Night 76 against Brooks’ friend and teammate Dustin Poirier, read news >>