DANA WHITE revealed he wants Conor McGregor to make his UFC return on January 23 on Fight Island – but a deal in NOT 'done yet'.
The UFC president has offered the Irishman a lightweight headliner with Dustin Poirier, who has signed his side of the deal.
McGregor did already verbally agree to the rematch, having won the initial fight at featherweight in 2014.
But UFC president White stressed there are still several hurdles to overcome before announcing that his biggest star is coming back.
He told ESPN: “Nothing is done yet.
"January 23 on Fight Island if everything goes according to plans. There are a ton of if's right now.
"I have to see where the world is in the next couple of months."
McGregor, who has not fought since knocking out 37-year-old Donald Cerrone in January, appeared to confirm his impending return online.
The 32-year-old uploaded a picture of his face off with Poirier six years ago to Instagram.
And he wrote: "I am very grateful to be about to return and get to do what I love again.
"I look forward to the fresh test Dustin will bring since our first bout, while also showcasing my own incredibly deep cache of weaponry.
"Whatever tool is needed on the night will be pulled from the duffel.
"I am also really excited about aiding Dustins charity “The Good Fight Foundation”, which through the donation, will build a gym/premise for disadvantaged youth in his childhood hometown.
"I truly love this, and pledge to match the donation on a premise in my own childhood hometown! Both spots with an ode to the upcoming bout.
"Excellent stuff! See you guys soon."
McGregor had retired in June having been frozen out of the title picture but has consistently teased a comeback.
Since Poirier, 31, was beaten by the southpaw star, he stepped up to lightweight with great success, losing just once in his last six fights.
The defeat came against champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, 32, last year.
Unbeaten Khabib left the division up in the air after announcing a shock retirement following a submission win over Justin Gaethje, 31, at UFC 254.
White revealed Nurmagomedov will hold on to his belt for now, believing he will return for a 30th and final fight.
It denies McGregor an immediate title shot, as he appears set to main-event UFC 257 with Poirier.
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