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Ben Askren Officially a Restricted Free Agent

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It looks like another Bellator champion is on the market after completing his contract, following in the footsteps of Hector Lombard and Eddie Alvarez. According to CEO Bjorn Rebney, welterweight king Ben Askren is no longer obligated to any action under the organization’s flag after finishing his original deal with a successful defense at Bellator 97.

Askren is currently in a period of exclusive negotiations with Bellator and isn’t completely free to explore all of his options.

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Post #1   8/3/13 1:01:20PM   

traveller77

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Dana, DO NOT sign this guy untill he develops a real MMA game. If you cant finish a totally beat fighter you dont belong in the UFC (yet)

Post #2   8/3/13 1:57:26PM   

DrivenDavies15

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Bellator will probably re-sign him, I don't see the UFC being too interested in him. Even though he is a phenomenal wrestler, fans don't get very excited when he fights. Although I'd love to see how he matches up with more well rounded guys in the UFC instead of easily beating everyone outside of it, I doubt it will happen.

Post #3   8/3/13 2:24:17PM   

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Posted by DrivenDavies15

Bellator will probably re-sign him, I don't see the UFC being too interested in him. Even though he is a phenomenal wrestler, fans don't get very excited when he fights. Although I'd love to see how he matches up with more well rounded guys in the UFC instead of easily beating everyone outside of it, I doubt it will happen.



What he said ^

Post #4   8/3/13 2:36:05PM   

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Posted by traveler77

Dana, DO NOT sign this guy untill he develops a real MMA game. If you cant finish a totally beat fighter you dont belong in the UFC (yet)



He just finished his last two "totally beat fighters". I was very impressed with the ease at which he dominated the last two guys and whether he's one dimensional or not he'd still beat some guys in the top ten in the UFC's welterweight division.

Post #5   8/3/13 2:36:15PM   

JLS1980

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Even though he's not exciting to watch, he'd probably handle 90 percent of the UFC's WW.

Post #6   8/3/13 2:36:45PM   

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I'd pay to see Askren/Maia.

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Post #7   8/3/13 2:53:15PM   

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Posted by grappler0000

I'd pay to see Askren/Maia.



I would'nt mind seeing that too, a couple losses would do Askren a lot of good, force him to develop a complete game. I cant think of anyone in Bellator that has more than a punchers chance against him .

Last edited 8/3/13 3:15PM server time by traveler77
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Post #8   8/3/13 3:13:52PM   

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This isn't Alvarez, the money the UFC will offer him probably would be countered by Bellator. The only reason the UFC would nab him up is because of his skills, basically it would thin out their competitor's roster.

Post #9   8/3/13 3:23:01PM   

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Posted by Wallass


Posted by traveler77

Dana, DO NOT sign this guy untill he develops a real MMA game. If you cant finish a totally beat fighter you dont belong in the UFC (yet)



He just finished his last two "totally beat fighters". I was very impressed with the ease at which he dominated the last two guys and whether he's one dimensional or not he'd still beat some guys in the top ten in the UFC's welterweight division.



Yeah, he could certainly beat a few top 10 at WW. Not all of them, but a few. Looking at MMAweekly's top 10 I'd certainly pick him for sure over Kampmann via wrestling him to death. After that there are a few winnable matches for him, like vs Lawler, and MAYBE Condit just because Condit doesn't have the greatest TDD in the world. Still, I think he'd benefit from more time developing in Bellator. Regardless of whether or not he's well rounded yet, you can't really deny that the guy has shown remarkable improvement in his last 2 fights. If he continues to improve like he has been lately he could become a true force to be reckoned with sooner rather than later.

Post #10   8/3/13 3:29:27PM   

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Posted by grappler0000

I'd pay to see Askren/Maia.



I think Maia would work him. Askren's in for a rude awakening if he wants to face him on the mat and Maia's striking is far superior too.

Post #11   8/3/13 3:53:04PM   

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Given the fact he's not as popular as Alvarez and doesn't have as big of a fan base as Alvarez I can't see the UFC going to court for him.

That said I could see him offered a unique deal. 25k signing bonus, 20k to show, no win bonus for a decision victory, 30k for a finish. I think Bellator would happily counter that offer as well.

People saying he should mix up his game are right and wrong. Yes there is no doubt he's boring and unexciting, but whilst he's been at Bellator he has faced nobody who could handle it and he's living in the mental state that nobody can handle his wrestling. That's a good thing.

If the UFC was to sign him I'd love to see him fight Koscheck, Pierce, Hendicks (if he losses) or Woodley, guys who released only wrestling could get them so far. If he outgrapples them, throw him Maia. If he survives with Maia we might be onto a serious contender.

If he stays at Bellator it's very likely we'll have a wrestler in MMA who goes something like 20-0 but is one dimensional as hell.

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Post #12   8/3/13 3:57:10PM   

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Does the UFC really want another Jon Fitch

Post #13   8/3/13 4:01:02PM   

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Ben still has a long way to go with his game if he wants to, but he is easily the greatest positional grappler in the history of the sport. The only way anyone is ever going to beat him is if they are able to keep it on the feet. I've seen Askren pull mount before just to get to the ground because he will be on top position within 15 seconds.

Askren's got good takedowns, but that's never been the strongpoint of his wrestling game. There are fighters who could keep it on the feet with Askren, but anyone who starts to scramble with him will lose an mma fight.


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Post #14   8/3/13 4:01:53PM   

Webbie

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It won't hurt my feelings at all if he resigns with Bellator.

Post #15   8/3/13 4:13:54PM   
 
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