Ben Askren has been one of the most exciting prospects in MMA for some time now. Competing under the Bellator banner, Askren has been able to go undefeated, beating some tough opponents, such as Douglas Lima, Jay Hieron, and Lyman Good. As with every great Bellator fighter, the question remains. When will Askren fight in the UFC?
Well, that answer seems to be sooner rather than later, as it appears Bellator has released Askren, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. Bellator president Bjorn Rebney had this to say about Askren:
“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.”
This is huge news for Askren, as he now has the chance to compete inside the UFC. He will finally get to test himself against the very best 170-pound fighters in the world, and it’s going to be interesting to see if, or when, the UFC signs him to their roster. To date, no fighter has been able to solve the Askren riddle. He is one of the best wrestlers in MMA, and some feel he could pose serious problems for the current UFC champion Georges St. Pierre.
However, it’s unlikely that the UFC would give him a title shot straight out of the gate, as it would be unfair to other contenders in the division. A great bout for his UFC debut would be against Jake Shields. Both are elite grapplers, and a win for either would be huge for their careers going forward.