"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," Bellator CEO Bjorn 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."
Rebney called Askren one-dimensional, but it wasn't exactly a back-handed compliment. Even Askren himself might admit he's dominant in just one aspect of the MMA game.
However, he's better at his smothering wrestling style than almost anyone out 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."
Rebney says he isn't sure yet what will happen with Askren. As of now, it's just a waiting game.
"We'll see what happens with Ben," Rebney said of Askren. "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."