White told reporters during this afternoon's UFC Fight Night 26 media scrum (video here) that he'll talk to Askren about a future inside the Octagon, which means Bellator may need to pull out all the stops to keep the 170-pound champion, whose contract came to a close following his recent thrashing of Andrey Koreshkov.
This means Askren is now in the exclusive negotiating period of his contract. He'll have some time where only Bellator can discuss a new deal and if that comes to an end, he'll transition to the matching period where he can field offers from other promotions like UFC.
The caveat is Bellator will also have the right to match any deal from elsewhere if they should choose. This is what happened with Eddie Alvarez and his tedious situation.
One can only hope something similar doesn't occur with Askren.
Regardless of the outcome, the Roufusport team member has the ball in his court and will be looking to parlay this into what is best for him and his growing brand. He would fit in well with a stacked UFC welterweight division and make for a potentially intriguing match-up against fellow grappling extraordinaire, Georges St. Pierre.
He already said he's "100-percent sure" he could beat him.