UFC president Dana White offered a positive update Tuesday regarding the return of former two-division champion Conor McGregor.
"I think he will be back this year or early next year," White told TMZ Sports.
However, White closed the door on a potential matchup for McGregor. Welterweight Jorge Masvidal said last week - after his record-setting knockout of Ben Askren - that he wanted to "break (McGregor's) face."
"(Jorge) Masvidal's too big for Conor," White said. "(McGregor) shouldn't have (fought at 170). I hated that he did it. Not only did I hate that he did it once, I hated that he did it twice."
"There's plenty of fights for (Masvidal) in his weight division without Conor. He's too big for Conor. Conor doesn't belong at 170. He's got the balls to fight at 170, but he doesn't belong there. Hell no."
White also shut down the idea that McGregor would immediately earn a lightweight title shot upon returning. Lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to take on interim champ Dustin Poirier on Sept. 7 at UFC 242.
"No, but it'll shake a lot of things up, whoever wins that fight," he said.
McGregor hasn't fought since his October 2018 submission loss to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. That marked the Irishman's lone appearance in the Octagon since late 2016.