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Old 08-15-2013, 10:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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UFC boss wants to talk to Ben Askren, not pursuing Paul Daley

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BOSTON UFC President Dana White said his promotion may very well be interested in Bellator welterweight champion and current free agent Ben Askren. Controversial British slugger Paul Daley, not so much.

"We'll talk to Ben," White said following Thursday's pre-UFC Fight Night 26 press conference. "Yeah, we'll talk to him."

Askren (12-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA), a four-time collegiate All-American wrestler, turned to MMA in 2009. After three wins on the regional circuit, he signed with Bellator MMA and promptly claimed the promotion's Season 2 welterweight tournament crown. In his seventh professional fight, he defeated then-champ Lyman Good to claim the promotion's welterweight title, and he's since successfully defended the title four times.

In July, Askren scored a TKO win over Andrey Koreshkov, fulfilling his contract in the process and becoming a free agent.

Recently, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said he is maintaining clear communications with Askren and believes the champ could return to the promotion's roster.

"At this point, we're having communications with Ben and we'll see how it goes," Rebney said. "It'll probably just happen naturally. We'll see. Ben and I have always had a pretty open line of communication. I like Ben."

Askren has earned back-to-back TKO victories in his two most recent Bellator MMA appearances. However, his prior six wins were all via decision, leading some fans to question the entertainment value behind his wrestling-heavy technique.

White said he was aware of Askren's top-game-dominance approach but wasn't sure "Funky" would be able to replicate that success if he does make the move to the UFC.

"You can do that in Bellator, you know what I mean?" White asked. "It's going to be tougher to do that here."

Meanwhile, Askren wasn't the only non-UFC fighter White was asked to address. Knockout artist Daley (33-12-2), who fought three times for the UFC before being released after a post-fight suckerpunch of Josh Koscheck at UFC 113, has in recent times made an effort to get back in White's good graces in hopes of a return to the octagon.

Despite Daley's 6-1 mark over his past seven fights, White said there was more to the equation than simple wins and losses.

"I think I've been pretty clear about where I am on Paul Daley," White said. "I'm not saying that Paul Daley couldn't change. But what he did, he was only guy that's ever done that in the history of the UFC our UFC since we've been here literally walked over after you've just fought a guy for 15 minutes, it's all legal, you can do whatever you want, and after the fight he walks over and suckerpunches him in the face. I hate it."

Daley was also contracted by Bellator MMA until recently, when the fighter's inability to secure a travel visa and his conviction on an assault charge led to the promotion terminating his deal. While the 30-year-old Brit certainly boasts a fan-friendly style, White said he's just not quite ready to forgive and forget.

"I'm not saying that he couldn't be forgiven and it couldn't change, but he'd have to win some fights and I don't know what he'd have to do," White said. "I'm not there though."

UFC Fight Night 26 takes place Saturday at Boston's TD Garden. Ten main-card and preliminary matchups air on FOX Sports 1.
http://www.mmajunkie.com/news/2013/0...ing-paul-daley

Good news that he's interested in Askren! Would love to see him fight the top guys at 170.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I hope the UFC signs him, he one of my favourite fights
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:14 AM   #3 (permalink)

 
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I actually don't think Dana really wants to sign Askren as much as he really wants to make Bellator over pay to keep him. I still think they tried it with Lombard and Alvarez winning one and losing one. Lombard was the exact same situation IMO he was never worth what the UFC pays him they merely tried to bait Bellator into over paying and they didn't take the bait.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I actually don't think Dana really wants to sign Askren as much as he really wants to make Bellator over pay to keep him. I still think they tried it with Lombard and Alvarez winning one and losing one. Lombard was the exact same situation IMO he was never worth what the UFC pays him they merely tried to bait Bellator into over paying and they didn't take the bait.
But Dana has also stated that Viacom has WAY more money than Zuffa, so driving up the prices of fighters more than they're actually worth doesn't really do much to Bellators pay out.

Then again, Viacom also has much more companies they're responsible for than Zuffa. So I guess it all depends on how much they actually invest in Bellator compared to Zuffa and the UFC.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I actually don't think Dana really wants to sign Askren as much as he really wants to make Bellator over pay to keep him. I still think they tried it with Lombard and Alvarez winning one and losing one. Lombard was the exact same situation IMO he was never worth what the UFC pays him they merely tried to bait Bellator into over paying and they didn't take the bait.
Joe Silva pretty much sabotaged Lombard with the draw he was given. The MW division isn't supposed to be for grapplers(Hell I don't think Bisping's fought three top MW grapplers yet) and the UFC threw three of them at him. Yet even then had he been given five round fights which his pay level entitled him to he'd be 3-0 right now. The loser in all of this is us because we had a great striker in a great division and the UFC decided to sandbag him for questionable motivations. Did they do it to sell Bellator as a second rate company? Do they not want little guys at the top of their divisions?

As for Ben Askren I'm less enthused about him coming in than a return for the wrongly cut Gerard Harris or Josh Burkman.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I can't stand Askren, would love to see him V Demian.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I can't stand Askren, would love to see him V Demian.
I watch his fights because I'm waiting for a knee to take the guys head off during one of his lunging slow shots.

I thought I was going to see it in his last fight against the unknown Russian. He hit him with the knee... but Askren didn't seem to effected by it.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:14 AM   #8 (permalink)

 
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But Dana has also stated that Viacom has WAY more money than Zuffa, so driving up the prices of fighters more than they're actually worth doesn't really do much to Bellators pay out.

Then again, Viacom also has much more companies they're responsible for than Zuffa. So I guess it all depends on how much they actually invest in Bellator compared to Zuffa and the UFC.
Viacom is a publicly traded company that has to answer to there investors the UFC is a privately owned company that can do as it pleases. let's not forget that a public company could never have lost the money the UFC did before it caught on.


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Old 08-16-2013, 12:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Viacom is a publicly traded company that has to answer to there investors the UFC is a privately owned company that can do as it pleases. let's not forget that a public company could never have lost the money the UFC did before it caught on.


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All of the grunt work has already been done by the UFC to introduce the sport. Viacom is merely trying to introduce a new promotion to an already existing market.

Very different situations and much easier to sell to investors who see how large of a market MMA can be.

Rich people invest a crap ton of money into a lot of things that never leave the ground. Happens every day.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I actually don't think Dana really wants to sign Askren as much as he really wants to make Bellator over pay to keep him. I still think they tried it with Lombard and Alvarez winning one and losing one. Lombard was the exact same situation IMO he was never worth what the UFC pays him they merely tried to bait Bellator into over paying and they didn't take the bait.
Agree here. I've always thought Dana smiled anytime Askren won. It is almost like having Fitch, Fitch all of your fighters and being champion. It is hard to sell after a while. I realize Askren has found 2 finishes in a row. And his top game is excellent, but casual fans aren't going to tune in for it over and over.

I think it all depends on Bellator's level of interested. Seems low as he is a champ. Has no deal. And haven't seemed to talk about a deal. Dana just isn't going to over pay a wrestler like that. If Bellator offers little, we could see the UFC scoop him up. But if Bellator wants him back bad, I doubt the UFC is going to throw money at him to sign him. No where close to the level of interest they had for Alverez. Dana could very well be driving the price up.

I am one who thinks Askren wouldn't fair too well in the UFC. By not too well I mean maybe fringe top 10. But never a contender.

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Joe Silva pretty much sabotaged Lombard with the draw he was given. The MW division isn't supposed to be for grapplers(Hell I don't think Bisping's fought three top MW grapplers yet) and the UFC threw three of them at him. Yet even then had he been given five round fights which his pay level entitled him to he'd be 3-0 right now. The loser in all of this is us because we had a great striker in a great division and the UFC decided to sandbag him for questionable motivations. Did they do it to sell Bellator as a second rate company? Do they not want little guys at the top of their divisions?

As for Ben Askren I'm less enthused about him coming in than a return for the wrongly cut Gerard Harris or Josh Burkman.
I see we still have people overrating Lombard. Tim Boetsch is hardly some grappler. He has decent Judo/wrestling. He beat Lombard by kicking him and Lombard doing squat. Isn't Lombard some elite Judoka? Shouldn't his TDD be top notch stuff? Then he was given a gimmie in Palhares. If he is is supposed to be a great striker (which he isn't at all) an Olympic level Judoka. With a black belt in BJJ. Then what is the problem?

Lombard just isn't that good. He made a living out of beating up bums who were afraid of him.
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