Former Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren signs with ONE FC


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

Spike TV's

The mystery is over, and Ben Askren has his new home.

Askren (12-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA), who was released from his Bellator MMA contract earlier this year – as that promotion’s welterweight champion, has signed with the Asia-based ONE FC. The promotion recently announced Askren’s signing, along with several other new acquisitions.

One of the most talked-about free agents in MMA history, it was widely believed that Askren would sign with the UFC. But UFC President Dana White, after meeting with Askren recently, said he believed the fighter needs some more experience. White said he believed Askren might wind up with World Series of Fighting. But it was ONE FC that won the sweepstakes for the unbeaten fighter’s services.

Askren, a two-time NCAA Division I national champion 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 White and even in some ways from Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.

After a relationship with the fighter turned contentious, including a peculiar scenario in which company officials said they would consider waiving their matching rights if he were granted an immediate UFC title shot, Bellator released the fighter.

“I’ve been a staunch supporter of Ben Askren,” Rebney said earlier this fall. “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.”

Rebney later said he’d waive Bellator’s matching rights if the UFC offered Askren an immediate title shot. It did little to sway the UFC, though, to sign the fighter, who is ranked No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA welterweight rankings.

“They’re playing f—ing games,” White later told MMAjunkie.com of Bellator’s offer to let Askren sign with the UFC if he were given an instant shot at Georges St-Pierre.  “… I don’t give a s–t what they’re doing.”

Askren was a four-time All-American wrestler at Missouri, compiling a record of 153-8 with 91 pins – making him one of the best wrestlers in NCAA Division I history. He wrestled on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team before moving to MMA.

While with Bellator, Askren set the promotion’s high-water mark with five title fights and four successful title defenses. With the Bellator welterweight title vacant, a new champion will be crowned when Douglas Lima faces the Season 9 tournament winner Rick Hawn in 2014.

Askren’s first ONE FC fight has not yet been announced. The promotion did, however, announce the signings of South Korea’s Dae Hwan Kim (8-0), Australia’s Chris Lokteff (11-1), Strikeforce veteran Harris Sarmiento (36-25) and Bellator vet Aung La Nsang (14-9).

For more on ONE FC’s upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 17 days ago
  • 46 views

Following his UFC release, ONE FC has signed 'the Truth' Brandon Vera.
Brandon Vera has been representing the Philippines during his entire fighting career, but while he has had countless visits throughout the years, the Filipino-American fighter has never fought in the country itself. Once thought to be the perfect mainstay for a card in Manila, Vera never really had a chance to compete in front of Filipinos as the promotion kept delaying that long overdue event in Manila.
Following his UFC rel more

  • 27 days ago
  • 32 views

ONE FC on Thursday announced a blockbuster four-title-fight card for Aug. 29 in Dubai. The championship bouts include Shinya Aoki and Ben Askren. more

  • 27 days ago
  • 27 views

Featuring Ben Askren, Shinya Aoki, and more!
ONE FC will visit the Middle East for the first time on August 29th with a blockbuster event at the Dubai World Trade Centre, which will feature an unprecedented four title bouts with Shinya Aoki, Nobutatsu Suzuki and Koji Oishi all set to defend their belts.
Aoki (35-6) will take on seasoned Iranian wrestler Kamal Shlaorus (9-3-2), Suzuki (11-1-2) will go up against former Bellator 170-pound champion Ben Askren (13-0), and Oishi (25-9-10) is likely t more

  • 23 days ago
  • 4005 views

I blame the wild hogs.
Former Bellator welterweight champion and current ONE FC headliner, Ben Askren, was in town over Fourth of July Weekend and made a stop by The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale, which took place on July 6, 2014, inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada (results here).
And that's about as close to the Octagon as "Funky" can get.
That's because the "bald man" was uninterested in signing the talented mat rat, which is unfortunate, considering Askren -- a 2008 Oly more

  • 16 days ago
  • 34 views

Like Obi Wan said, "Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time..."
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans haven't seen former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight Roger Huerta for over two years. Probably because it took him that long to wake up from one of the nastiest soccer kicks in the history of the sport (see it again here).
But time heals all wounds.
The 31-year-old Huerta (21-7-1, 1 NC), just 1-6 over his last seven, has been paired off against undefeated newcomer Christian Holle more

  • 6 days ago
  • 20 views

Nick Diaz has signed a contract to return to the UFC. The former Strikeforce welterweight champion sign the deal Thursday at UFC headquarters and is eyeing a 2015 return. more

  • 17 days ago
  • 25 views

Brandon Vera has found a home for himself after being released from the UFC.
One FC announced Sunday the signing of "The Truth", who is expected to make his promotional debut later this year. The promotion didn’t announce if the 36-year-old veteran will compete at light heavyweight or heavyweight.
Vera (12-7, 1 no-contest) fights outside the Octagon for the first time since 2005, when he won a one-night tournament under the WEC banner.
The Alliance MMA fighter, who once aimed to win two UFC titl more

  • 17 days ago
  • 37 views

Fans haven't see the last of "The Truth."
Not long after Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) parted ways with longtime heavyweight veteran Brandon Vera, ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) added the aging combat sports mainstay to its ever-expanding roster, according to a tweet sent out on Sunday.
Which is a win/win for both sides, considering how often the promotion stages events in Philippines.
Vera, 36, was at one time considered a future champion, racking up eight straight wins and finishing more

  • 16 days ago
  • 26 views

It is not yet determined if she will be competing at strawweight or atomweight.
Kirstie Gannaway is set to become the third female Singaporean fighter to sign with ONE FC and there are such high hopes for the 23 year old, who has a background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), boxing and Wushu, that she has also been offered a full time position on the Evolve MMA Fight Team.
Women's MMA has taken off in the last year as the UFC has finally allowed female fighters to compete, but ONE FC has been open more