Bjorn Rebney Unsure of Ben Askren’s Future, Excited for ‘Rampage’ Reality Show

By Staff Sep 2, 2013
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Ben Askren may never compete in Bellator again.

The undefeated welterweight champion’s contract has ended, and he could be on his way to another promotion. Of course, Bellator could also move to re-sign the 29-year-old.

Company CEO Bjorn Rebney joined the Aug. 20 edition of the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Cheap Seats” show to discuss Askren, Quinton Jackson and much more.

On Askren’s personality, fighting style and future: “Ben is always going to be that character. Ben’s never going to become a different type of personality in this space. He’s never going to be Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. He’s never going to be Michael Chandler. He’s going to be Ben. Everybody’s got their own pull and traction points in terms of how they connect with consumers. Ben’s is just different than other people’s, and I don’t know that that’s positive or negative. In terms of his long-term future here, I don’t know. I’m not sure what will happen with Ben. I’m not sure if he’ll continue fighting here or if he’ll go and fight somewhere else. … He is, as everybody’s described him, wildly one-dimensional, but when people say that to me about Ben Askren, I say well, if you don’t like the dimension, then change it or fix it or beat it, and nobody has been able to. So I don’t know. We’ll see what happens with Ben.”

On War Machine and offensive Tweets: “When God was putting those chips in everybody’s head that stopped them from saying exactly what they were thinking, he never got one. He just says whatever he thinks, and oftentimes disregards who it will offend or how it will impact people, and that’s a tough part of it. … The reality with Jon, and that’s the reason that we’ve kept him and I’ve kept working with him, is I don’t think his intent is to offend people. I honestly don’t think that he’s intending to offend people, and there’s no doubt that he does, but I think that he has a very different perception of things than almost 100 percent of the rest of us. … He’s not an animosity-driven, hating type of personality. He just digests information and spits it out differently than anyone I’ve ever met. Sometimes it offends the heck out of people. We’re trying to keep him in the organization and trying to put a cap on some of that, but we’ll see where it goes.”

On releasing Paul Daley: “Daley’s was one that was an assault offense and he had pled to it, and some facts that weren’t accurate came out from him in terms of what had actually happened. When we finally got the police report, we just all looked at each other and said look, we’ve got to cut him. He’s a charismatic fighter. He’s fun to watch fight. He knocks people out, but we just can’t have that around.”

On the dispute Bellator had with Eddie Alvarez: “The same kind of things happened with the UFC. They happened with Tito [Ortiz]. They happened with Randy [Couture]. There was huge litigation that lasted an extended period of time and kept him out of the cage, and there were a lot of angry statements made by both sides. You’ve seen it with recent fighters with them, and it’s going to happen. It’s just part of the alliance. When you’re dealing with 170 or 175 different personalities, there’s going to be conflict. It’s just the nature of the beast. You would be a fool if you thought you could get through it without having a conflict with [fighters].”

On Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s upcoming reality show: “I’ve been part and parcel of some of this ‘Rampage’ stuff that’s going on for reality [TV], and it’s amazing. I mean, it’s amazing. It’s crazy good content. I’ve seen the dailies on this stuff, and it just looks like incredibly cool programming. It’s a look at Rampage we’ve never seen and a personality that just leaps off the screen.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 43:33).


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