It looks like the battle between Bellator and the UFC is officially underway. Though UFC President Dana White has had plenty of nice things to say about the up-and-coming promotion in the past, his opinion apparently changed in the wake of Bellator’s deal with Viacom and subsequent behavior pertaining to the contractual status of lightweight Eddie Alvarez.
White was asked about the potential of signing Ben Askren after the post-event press conference for UFC Fight Night 27, saying he has concerns about how free the Bellator welterweight champ is to actually sign for a stint in the Octagon based on how Alvarez was treated.
“Bjorn Rebney‘s a scumbag,” said White matter-of-factly of Bellator’s CEO in a conversation captured by MMAJunkie. “The guy says, ‘Yeah, we’re going to let him go. Let’s just part ways.’ You ain’t f*cking parting ways with him. He’s got a matching right and all that bullsh*t. This guy is a fucking typical boxing piece of sh*t. Everybody knows the guy is a scumbag.”
“We’ll see what happens with Ben. First they say they’re going to let him go. They’re not going to let him go. They’ll probably end up suing him too and make him sit out and lose a bunch of money and f*ck him in a deal,” he continued, alluding to Alvarez’s situation. “Bad guys. They’re bad guys.”
In case there was any confusion, White went on to mention Alvarez by name, saying Bellator’s approach to free agency is really a smokescreen for undercutting talent.
“He had the opportunity to go out there and find out what he’s worth, yet he didn’t get what he’s worth,” explained White of Alvarez. “He’s f*cking (Askren). He’s doing the same thing he did to Eddie. He’s not letting him really go out and get a fair – do you really think honestly, everyone here, do you think that if Eddie Alvarez did a deal with us, that Eddie Alvarez wouldn’t have made a lot of money? Hector Lombard did. Hector Lombard got paid.”
Lombard is a former Bellator middleweight champ signed to a lucrative deal upon his departure from the company.
Bellator officials have yet to respond to White’s comments. However, more is sure to come of the conflict brewing between the sides based on past examples involving promotions crossing the UFC’s path.