It’s pretty rare that a fighting promotion would rave about one of its champion’s dominance and then release him, but here we are on a pleasant Thursday afternoon and Bellator has officially released Ben Askren, making him an unrestricted free agent. Bellator originally had the right to match any offers for Askren’s fighting services, but now the 12-0 Welterweight Champion is allowed to look elsewhere for work.
Bellator’s CEO Bjorn Rebney even wishes Askren the best of luck in the next leg of his career, and he’s totally not being backhanded at all.
“I’ve said it many times, Ben’s a completely one-dimensional fighter who is utterly dominant in that dimension,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said in a statement. “I had a number of discussions with Ben and it became clear it was time for both parties to move in different directions.”
“We’ve relinquished any right to match here and Ben can sign with whoever he chooses to sign with,” Rebney said. “Ben’s been at Bellator since the start of his career, I respect him and what he’s accomplished and wish him the best wherever he goes.” (Via Newsday)
So now the question must be asked: Will UFC President Dana White reverse course on his previous statement that “when Ambien can’t sleep, it takes Ben Askren”? Well, Askren seems pretty confident about his chances.
I am now free to go to the @UFC and beat whoever I want.
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) November 14, 2013
Good luck with that, Ben. I’ll be over here taking a nap while thinking about it.
(Banner via Getty)