Bellator MMA welterweight ace Ben Askren is now a former champion.
Askren, 12-0, was released by the promotion Thursday morning. Bellator announced the roster move with a press release.
“I’ve said it many times, Ben’s a completely one-dimensional fighter who is utterly dominant in that dimension,” declared Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. “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.”
The 29-year-old wrestling standout starred at the University of Missouri and was a member of the 2008 Olympic team (74 KG) in Beijing. He last saw action in the cage in a dominant performance against Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 97. Askren is currently seated fifth in Sherdog.com’s official welterweight divisional rankings.
The Bellator 170-pound title will be vacated until Douglas Lima faces the winner of Ron Keslar and Rick Hawn, who compete Nov. 22 at Bellator 109 in Bethlehem, Penn.