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Ben Askren says Dana White is immature and has been 'disrespectful' in the media

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According to a Dec. 9 report from MMA Fighting, Ben Askren says UFC boss Dana White is immature and has been "disrespectful" in the media.

"Dana has just been so disrespectful in the media. It's just shenanigans, like we've talked about," Askren said of White on Ariel Helwani's "The MMA Hour". "The fact that I'm not good enough. That's laughable and no one really believes that, except the most uneducated fan. He's just been so disrespectful about that, and I really wished he would've said something to my face in the meeting about what his direct issues were, because Dana barely said anything in the meeting. It was more of me and Lorenzo talking than anything.

"Even if they were willing to pay me a lot of money, I think I would have a tough time coming back and fighting for the UFC at this point. "Not saying I wouldn't do it for sure. I would just have to think long and hard about doing it."

Askren became a free agent in November after Bellator decided to release him. He says the UFC would have likely signed him had it not been for his history with Bellator.

"I think (Zuffa CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta) doesn't let his ego get involved and he's a little more mature, so he doesn't really have the quarrel with Bellator as much as Dana," Askren said. "I think Lorenzo was pro-me, and wanted to get me into the organization.

"When you think that Dana is so immature that he's letting a little bitter rivalry between him and Bellator/Bjorn get in the way of the main point of their business, which is to put the best people in the world in the Octagon and let them fight it out to see who the best is, it's kind of crazy. You'd think by the time someone has a billion dollars and runs one of the biggest sports organizations in the entire world, that they would have enough maturity to get over a bitter rivalry with a different company."

Askren says he met with UFC officials and it went well, but he then got a call back that they weren't interested.

"The meeting went really well," Askren said. "They were all polite, everything was good, and we talked. Honestly when I left the UFC offices, I thought we were going to come to a deal at that point.

"Later that night they call back and they say that they're not interested. It was kind of a weird set of circumstances, and after going through the meeting and everything, it's very clear to me that it's not really about me. It's about Dana's quarrel with Bellator and (Bellator CEO) Bjorn (Rebney) ... because when you look at his main argument -- that I'm not I'm good enough -- it's shenanigans, plain and simple.

"They've got 84 guys on roster, and frankly, I'd beat half of those dudes with one arm tied behind my back and blindfolded," Askren continued. "Some of those guys, they really suck. They're really bad at the sport of MMA. So when it came down to it, I think it's all about the Bellator bickering and whatnot.

"Honestly, if you guys knew all the little bulls--t that on behind the scenes between both organizations, you guys would be cracking up so hard."


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