After his Bellator contract came up in August, it was assumed that Askren would either be re-signed by the promotion or he would be heading to the Ultimate Fighting Champioship (UFC). In fact, some expected that there could possibly be bidding war for his services.
But there was no bidding war.
Instead, there was a bit of posturing between UFC President Dana White and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. Rebney said he would waive Bellator's matching period if White offered Askren an immediate title shot. When White decided to not sign Askren, Rebney called the decision "disingenuous."
However, the UFC still decided to meet with Askren to see if a deal could be reached. Unfortunately, it seems like the UFC is not interested in his services. John Morgan of MMA Junkie spoke with White about the meeting and apparently, Askren's best bet to make it to the UFC is signing with World Series of Fighting (WSOF).
"I wasn't even going to say this, because it sounds like I'm just s-ting on them, but there's just no competition for him over at Bellator. There's competition for him at World Series of Fighting. This kid will probably sign with them. I don't know (since) they've got to come to an agreement and a deal. But if he does, there's actual competition for him there."
"There's actual competition for him there," White said. "I think it's crazy that he's ranked in the top 10. He hasn't fought anybody and has no challenges. The best thing that could've ever happened to that kid was leaving Bellator. Now he has the opportunity to go to World Series of Fighting and show what he's got."
This decision will likely be criticized because Askren is clearly a talented fighter; but the UFC doesn't have to sign every talented fighter. It is a business and Askren's fights haven't exactly led to high ratings.