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

Bellator Signs Three-Time All-American Wrestler Jarod Trice

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

Bellator MMA is proud to announce the signing of three-time All American wrestling prospect Jarod Trice to an exclusive, multi-fight contract. read news >>

World Series of Fighting Signs Undefeated Prospect Phil Hawes

  • 7 days ago
  • 16 views

World Series of Fighting has signed undefeated middleweight prospect Phil Hawes (3-0) to an exclusive, multi-year promotional agreement. read news >>

Bellator 155 Fight Highlights Video: Alexis Dufresne Upsets Marloes Coenen

  • 8 days ago
  • 5 views

Check out highlights from Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef, which took place on Friday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. read news >>

With Bellator Contract on the Line, Bobby Brents Sees Right Through Shamrock FC Opponent

  • a day ago
  • 3 views

Bobby Brents isn't looking past Shamrock FC opponent Bubba Grant, but he sees right through him with an eye on a Bellator contract. read news >>

Bubba Grant Staring Down a Breakout Year with Bellator Deal at Stake

  • a day ago
  • 2 views

Bubba Grant never gets too far ahead of himself, but winning a Shamrock FC belt and a Bellator contract could provide him with a breakout year. read news >>

Three New Bouts Complete Bellator 156: Galvao vs. Dantas 2 Fight Card

  • a day ago
  • 2 views

Three contests have been added to Bellator 156: Galvao vs. Dantas 2 on June 17 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, completing the fight card. read news >>

Bellator's Jordan Parsons Has Full Leg Amputated After Hit-and-Run Collision

  • 26 days ago
  • 38 views

Jordan Parsons, 25, a fighter competing in Bellator MMA's featherweight division, has lost his entire right leg after falling victim to a hit-and-run vehicle collision early Sunday morning in Florida read news >>

Bellator Fighter Jordan Parsons, 25, Dies Following Hit-and-Run Incident

  • 25 days ago
  • 73 views

Bellator featherweight fighter Jordan Parsons, a victim of a hit-and-run incident on Sunday, passed away on Wednesday. read news >>

Jordan Parsons, Bellator Fighter, Dies at Age 25

  • 25 days ago
  • 13 views

Bellator fighter Jordan Parsons has died at the age of 25, three days after he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Florida. Bellator President Scott Coker confirmed Parsons' death Wednesday i read news >>

Titan FC Has Signed Carina Damm, Its First Female Fighter

  • 24 days ago
  • 6 views

Titan FC officials on Thursday revealed to MMAWeekly.com that the promotion has inked its first deal with a female fighter. read news >>