Scott Coker Doesn’t Sound Interested in Bringing Ben Askren Back to Bellator
If Ben Askren is contemplating a return to action, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be coming back to Bellator MMA.
Rumors began swirling over the past couple of weeks that Askren may come out of retirement for a big fight against Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald after they began exchanging messages over Twitter just recently.
Of course, Askren is the former Bellator welterweight champion who left the organization while still holding onto the title after the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on a new contract.
Despite Askren’s apparent interest in returning to his old stomping grounds, Bellator CEO Scott Coker seemingly shot that down when speaking at the Bellator 198 post fight press conference.
“Ben talked to our matchmaker Rich [Chou] and he reached out to him a couple of weeks ago. I talked to Chatri [Sityodtong], he’s still under contract with ONE FC so there’s some things to work out but Ben, I don’t think really wants to fight,” Coker explained.
“I think he wants to fight one more fight and then be done with it. That’s what I understand.”
Rather than bring in a hired gun like Askren for one fight, Coker is more interested in building his welterweight division, which might be one of the strongest weight classes in Bellator currently.
With several high profile fights scheduled over the next few months, Coker prefers to focus on those than trying to get a deal done to bring Askren back for one night only.
“To me, we have a lot of plans for these guys in the 170-pound weight class,” Coker said. “We’re going to keep everybody busy. We’ve got a big fight for MVP [Michael ‘Venom’ Page] coming up in London. We’ve got a big fight for [Jon] Fitch and [Paul] Daley in San Jose on May 12.
“We’re going to keep these guys busy. I want fighters that are going to be here fighting.”