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Ben Askren says ex-Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney declared him as the new Conor McGregor

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UFC welterweight Ben Askren shares a brief yet interesting conversation he had with former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.

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It can be said that Conor McGregor’s star power isn’t as significant as it was around three years ago. A lot of it seemed to have dwindled with his inability to defend any of his titles, trash-talking that had gotten out of hand, constant legal troubles, and the fact that he has not won a fight since 2016.

The absence of “The Notorious” is said to have left a gap in the UFC, at least according to former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. And for him, there is already someone who can easily fill that void.

During an appearance on Monday’s episode of the Ariel Helwani MMA Show, undefeated UFC welterweight Ben Askren says he was deemed by Rebney to take on that role.

“Bjorn texted me after my last fight,” Askren said (via MMA Mania). “He said, ‘Odd choice of starts, but that finish was rock solid, keep talking sh-t on everyone, all the time, everywhere.

“‘They don’t have the voice now that Conor was exposed. You fill that gap.’ I haven’t heard from him for like five years. Out of nowhere!”

Askren was fighting under the Bellator banner when Rebney was at the helm, where he held the company’s welterweight title for three years.

He is now slated for his second UFC fight against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 on July 6th in Las Vegas.