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Ben Askren Says Bellator Can’t Make Welterweight Stars While He’s Around

Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren sees the percentage of him leaving the promotion at “over 50.” Askren completed his Bellator contract with his fourth title defense in July.

“Let’s face it, they’ve got these guys they’re trying to bring up, trying to make into stars, and then I outstrike them 248-3 and make them look like they’re a child,” said Askren to MMA Junkie. “It’s pretty tough to make them a star after that. I don’t know that there are any challenges left in Bellator, so yeah, I think the only challenges for me are in the UFC.”

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told ESPN earlier in the week he didn’t see making an offer at this point and he wasn’t going to hold Askren from talking with the UFC. It’s a far difference compared to the situation that Eddie Alvarez went through and comes off the news that lightweight champ Michael Chandler signed a new long-term deal.

Askren, a former Olympian, expects ability to officially negotiate with the UFC as early as today. The UFC has shown interest.