Ben Askren becomes unrestricted free agent after Bellator grants 'Funky' unconditional release
Undefeated Welterweight Is Now Unrestricted Free Agent
Former Bellator Welterweight Champion and undefeated mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Ben Askren is a free man.
The Viacom-owned promotion has said goodbye to the "Funky" wrestler after failing to come to terms on a new deal, which essentially clears the path for Askren to sign with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), no strings attached.
From Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney:
"I've said it many times, Ben's a completely one-dimensional fighter who is utterly dominant in that dimension. I had a number of discussions with Ben and it became clear it was time for both parties to move in different directions. We've relinquished any right to match here and Ben can sign with whoever he chooses to sign with. Ben's been at Bellator since the start of his career, I respect him and what he's accomplished and wish him the best wherever he goes."
Bellator heavyweight and middleweight November title bouts swap dates
A reshuffling of Bellator's November schedule has led Alexander Volkov and Alexander Shlemenko to swap dates for their upcoming title defenses.
Heavyweight champion Volkov (19-3), who was initially slated to lock horns with undefeated challenger Vitaly Minakov (12-0) in the headlining bout of Bellator 109, will now look to defend his belt in the co-main event of Bellator 108, underneath Rampage Jackson's promotional debut opposite Joey Beltran.
Likewise, Shlemenko's upcoming middleweight title defense against Doug Marshall (18-6) has been moved from the co-main event of Bellator 108 to the main event of Bellator 109.
Final Bellator 106 salaries: Eddie Alvarez tops payroll with $160K
Eddie Alvarez was the big winner at Saturday's Bellator 106 event – both in the cage, as well as in the pocketbooks.
On Saturday MMAjunkie.com obtained the list of disclosed paydays prior to the event, which aired on Spike TV from Long Beach Arena in California.
The final disclosed payroll for the card was $551,500.
While Alvarez earned the top overall payday with $160,000, Joe Riggs actually earned the biggest win bonus. He earned $5,000 to show, but by defeating Mike Bronzoulis in the "Fight Master" tournament final, he pocketed an additional $95,000 as a win bonus...
Bellator 106 weigh-in results: All six title fighters on mark and official
MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET)
-Michael Chandler (154.8) vs. Eddie Alvarez (154.5) - for lightweight title
-Muhammed Lawal (204.1) vs. Emanuel Newton (203.4) - for interim light heavyweight title
-Pat Curran (144.8) vs. Daniel Straus (144.2) - for featherweight title
-Mike Bronzoulis (171) vs. Joe Riggs (170.7) - "Fight Master" tourney final
-Mike Richman (145.5) vs. Akop Stepanyan (145.9)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com, 7 p.m. ET)
-Jesse Juarez (170) vs. Joe Williams (170.6)
-Alejandro Garcia (170.3) vs. Cristiano "Soldier Boy" Souza (171)
-Brandon Halsey (203.8) vs. Hector Ramirez (205)
-Mike Guymon (155.8) vs. Aaron Miller (156)
-Joe Camacho (150)* vs. Cleber Luciano (149)**
-Darren Smith (155) vs. Josh Smith (155.5)
* Camacho was given two hours to cut to the featherweight max of 146 pounds.
** Luciano was given two hours to cut to the featherweight max of 146 pounds.