Bellator recently ended its legal battle with Eddie Alvarez, after the top ranked lightweight was offered a contract from the UFC, and now the promotion could end up trying to match a ZUFFA offer to Ben Askren.
The Bellator welterweight champion recently became a free agent, and although CEO Bjorn Rebney has said he’s confident they’ll come to terms with the fighter, Dana White says he’s interested as well. Speaking after Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 26 presser, the UFC President stated (comment via MMA Junkie.com):
“We’ll talk to Ben,” White said. “Yeah, we’ll talk to him.”
Askren has gone 12-0 since transitioning into MMA, and has pretty much cruised through his competition to date, but White believes the renowned wrestler would be tested in the UFC.
“You can do that in Bellator, you know what I mean?” White said while discussing Askren’s world class wrestling and top game. “It’s going to be tougher to do that here.”
Of course, considering Bellator likely has the right to match any offer from the UFC, there’s a good chance Askren will remain with the promotion. White was also asked about Paul Daley, who recently signed a United Kingdom deal with BAMMA, but the UFC President repeated he won’t be contacting the fighter anytime soon.
Daley was let go by the UFC in 2010, after he sucker punched Josh Koscheck, following their UFC 113 bout.