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Bellator willing to let welterweight champ Ben Askren sign with the UFC

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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Most of Ben Askren's fight have been in Bellator. Nine of his 12 wins (and zero defeats) come in the tournament-based promotion. He won the welterweight title in October of 2010, and has defended it four times since. Askren has been one of the faces of Bellator since his debut. Even with that history, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said they are willing to let Askren go to UFC now that his contract is up.

"I don't think we're going to make an offer at this point," Rebney said to ESPN.com. "So I don't see any reason to make anybody sit out. If Ben's going to go to the UFC, we should speed up that process so he can go fight. I'd love to see Ben versus GSP."

Bellator recently went through a drawn-out legal battle with former champion Eddie Alvarez over his right to sign with the UFC. He will return to Bellator for a rematch with Michael Chandler on Nov. 2, but the legal battle required Alvarez to be on the shelf for a year. Considering how often Bellator runs events, keeping a known entity like Askren on the shelf while going through another legal battle could be too much to handle.

On Askren's part, he's ready to take on the challenge of the UFC.

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