Bjorn Rebney Clarifies Bellator’s Stance on Ben Askren

A while ago Bjorn Rebney said that they wouldn’t hold up Ben Askren’s future negotiations like they did with a certain Eddie Alvarez, with it being implied that they were happy to let Askren go as he was a bit too “one-dimensional.” It was kind of weird, I’m not gonna lie, but it was something that he said. It looked like Bellator had at least learned something from the Eddie Alvarez stuff.

He seems to have taken a bit of an abrupt about-face on the issue, though.

“What I said was I wouldn’t stand in his way of getting an offer – that I wouldn’t make him spend 90 or 100 days on the shelf negotiating with us,” Rebney on Friday told AXS TV’s “Inside MMA.” “Ben said he wanted to go out and see what the UFC would offer. I said, ‘You know what? Let’s cut this short. You go out and see what they’ll offer, and we’ll make a determination from there.’ So right now, we’re just waiting for Ben to come back, show us the offer from the UFC and we’ll make a determination from there.

“I’ve been a staunch supporter of Ben Askren,” Rebney said. “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. He’s been dominant inside of our cage. He’s the best wrestler in MMA that we have in this sport. So look, if you don’t like wrestling and you don’t like what Ben does, then stop it. That’s why they call it a fight. Ben famously said up in Canada, ‘If you want to see two guys stand in the middle of the cage and hit each other in the face, there’s a sport called boxing.’ He’s executed beautifully.

“We’ll see what happens with Ben,” he said. “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.”