Ben Askren Gets His Release From Bellator

askren

All Ben Askren wanted to do after he completed his contract with Bellator was to go to the UFC. Now he will get that chance as Bellator has released the now former welterweight champion.

It was a weird road to get to this point for Askren. “Funky” completed the last fight on his Bellator in July when he stopped Andrey Koreshkov by TKO. The UFC was reluctant to offer Askren a deal under the matching period, that lasted one year due to the Eddie Alvarez. Bellator officials went as far as offering to release Askren if he was guaranteed an immediate bout with the UFC welterweight champion.

After the UFC rebuffed that notion, it seemed like Askren was going to have to sit out an entire year before he can negotiate with another organization. That was until today and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney wishes the best for Askren in the future.

“I’ve said it many times, Ben’s a completely one-dimensional fighter who is utterly dominant in that dimension,” Rebney said. “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. 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.”

Bellator stated that the welterweight title is now vacant until Douglas Lima faces the winner of the Season 9 Welterweight Tournament later this winter when the new Bellator Welterweight Champion will be crowned.

Askren released a statement on Twitter about his release and says he is ready to test his skills in the UFC.

If Askren does indeed sign with the UFC, how do you think he will fair?

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Video: Bellator 97 Preview

Bellator MMA returns tonight with the final Summer Series event as Bellator 97 takes place tonight at the Santa Ana Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the main card airs on Spike TV at 7 p.m. ET following the preliminary card on Spike.com at 6 p.m. ET.

The card features two title fights as Michael Chandler defends his Bellator lightweight title against David Rickels and Ben Askren defends his welterweight title against Andrey Koreshkov.

Also two tournament finals take place as Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal squares off with Jacob Noe in the light heavyweight finals and Ryan Martinez faces off with Vitaly Minakov in the heavyweight finals.

Watch the video above for a preview of tonight’s card.

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