Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney clarifies comments about Ben Askren & the UFC

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

After saying he wouldn't hold up negotiations between their Welterweight champ Ben Askren and the UFC, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney took to AXS-TV to clarify that they still reserve the right to match any offer made to Askren.

Bellator Welterweight champion Ben Askren has completed his contract and now is free to field offers from competing promotions as Bellator has waived their right to an exclusive negotiating period. But that doesn't mean they're not still reserving the right to match any offer Askren receives.

"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."

Rebney's comments come a week or so after UFC president Dana White blasted him. Per MMA Fighting:

"Bjorn Rebney's a scumbag. The guy says, 'Yeah, we're going to let them go. Let's just part ways.' He ain't f--king parting ways with him. He's got a matching right and all that b---s--t," White said.

"This guy is a typical boxing piece of s--t. Everybody knows the guy is a scumbag and it is what it is. So, we'll see what happens to Ben. First they said they're going to let him go and they're not going to let him go. They'll probably end up suing him, too, making him sit out and lose a bunch of f--king money and f--k him in the deal.

"Bad guys," White said matter of factly. "They're bad guys.

"What they're doing is," White continued, "he's f--king him is what he's doing. He's doing the same thing he did to Eddie [Alvarez].

"Do you think that if Eddie Alvarez did a deal with us that Eddie Alvarez wouldn't have made a lot of money? Hector Lombard did. Hector Lombard got paid. These guys are signing these contracts over there that just f--k them."

Another day of friendly but high spirited competition in MMA.

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