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 >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2361 with Bellator 170's Brennan Ward

  • 3 days ago
  • 2 views

Stream or download Thursday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guest Brennan Ward.Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio read news >>

Jarod Trice and Tyrell Fortune among Bellator 171 additions

  • 3 days ago
  • 2 views

This month’s Bellator 171 lineup has some new additions and some top prospects.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 171 Adds More Bouts, Fight Card at 14 Fights | MMAWeekly.com

  • 2 days ago
  • 6 views

A pair of heavyweight fights featuring undefeated blue chip prospects Jarod Trice and Tyrell Fortune have been added to the preliminary card of Bellator 171. read news >>

Fans invited to next week's Bellator 170 Fan Fest with Mitrione, Gracie, Wanderlei Silva, 'King Mo,' more

  • 2 days ago
  • 28 views

Bellator heads to Los Angeles next week for its latest “tentpole event.” Beforehand, fans can get up close and personal with some current stars and MMA legends.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

The UFC's best photos of 2016: Blood and sweat, bulging eyeballs and distorted faces

  • a day ago
  • 51 views

Take a look back at the best of the best UFC photos from 2016. Filed under: Featured Videos, News, Photo Gallery, UFC, Videos read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2347 with Urijah Faber and Muhammed Lawal

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Stream or download Monday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Urijah Faber and Muhammed Lawal.Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC read news >>

Bellator 169 video highlights: Watch taunt master 'King Mo' get back on track in Dublin

  • 27 days ago
  • 22 views

After a loss in a title eliminator against Phil Davis earlier this year, Muhammed Lawal needed to get back in the win column in a big way. Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie Rankings, Dec. 20: Wineland back to winning ways

  • 27 days ago
  • 6 views

This past weekend saw both UFC and Bellator host prospect-filled events, but one wily veteran was impressive enough to make a move in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings.Filed under: Bellator read news >>

Bellator's 'King Mo' Lawal expects to meet Amir Aliakbari in Rizin FF tournament final

  • 26 days ago
  • 9 views

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal is suddenly a very busy man, but that’s the way he likes it. Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Bellator 169 Fight Highlights: King Mo Takes the Win Over Satoshi Ishii | MMAWeekly.com

  • 26 days ago
  • 13 views

Check out some of the best moments of Bellator 169 in Dublin, Ireland, where King Mo Lawal got the better of Satoshi Ishii in the main event. read news >>