It looks like Bellator will be able to avoid the whole mess they had with Eddie Alvarez before as they currently deal with Ben Askren's contact situation and impending free agency. Bjorn Rebney has said that they have decided to release their current welterweight champion, making him free to sign where he pleases. He took to twitter to announce the news:
I've made the decision to release Ben Askren. After speaking with Ben, it was clear it was a good time for both parties to move on.— Bjorn Rebney (@BjornRebney) November 14, 2013
We've relinquished any right to match and Ben can sign with whoever he chooses to sign with. I wish Ben the best wherever he goes.— Bjorn Rebney (@BjornRebney) November 14, 2013
The talented wrestler in Askren last defended his Bellator title in July, but has recently kept active when he dusted off his wrestling shoes and competed on Agon I, winning a wrestling super-fight against two-time NCAA wrestling champ Quentin Wright.
As for where he will sign, Askren has been constantly calling out Georges St. Pierre on twitter, and he has again made it clear where he wants to compete:
I am now free to go to the @UFC and beat whoever I want.— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) November 14, 2013
The fight always seemed like a farfetched idea with both champs being locked in restrictive contracts, but with this announcement from Rebney, this could be a step closer towards that possibility.