It’s been a little while now since ONE FC announced that it has signed former Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren, which as you likely know, concluded weeks of speculation as to where the free agent would wind up. When the renowned wrestler first entered free agency, andÂ all the dramaÂ involving Bellator’s Bjorn Rebney and the UFC’s Dana White kicked off, not too many people were predicting Askren would end up with ONE FC.
So what does Rebney think of the UFC passing on Askren? After he dared the promotion to bring “Funky” on board and give him a title shot? While speaking to the Sherdog.com Radio Network recently, here’s some of what Rebney had to say about the subject:
“It didn’t follow the philosophy that the UFC espouses,” Rebney saidÂ “It didn’t follow their tagline, and it was too bad that they didn’t even make him an offer. I understand if they’d made him an offer and Ben turned it down, but to not even make the No. 6-ranked guy in the world an offer, then stop saying the best fighters in the world fight in the UFC.”
“The reality with Ben Askren is that the UFC didn’t want a one-dimensional Bellator champion being champion of the UFC, so they shied away from him, and then they’ve gone radio silent on him, trying not to engage in conversation because they don’t want the conversation to continue. Ben Askren would have run the table at  at the UFC. Ben Askren ran the table here; he would have run the table there.”
Wow. While there’s no doubt that Askren is one of the planet’s best welterweights, chances are some of the UFC’s top 170’ers with a strong wrestling base would disagree with Rebney. Unfortunately, it looks as though we won’t get to see how Askren would do in the world’s deepest welterweight division anytime soon.
Rebney also noted that if Askren’s available in a couple years, after “running the table” in ONE FC, then Bellator will talk to him. Askren is expected to make his ONE FC debut sometime in early 2014.