UFC president Dana White is hopeful Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon in early 2021, he said Thursday on ESPN's "SportsCenter."
"We're actually working on some fun stuff for Conor at the beginning of next year," White said. "He should be back next year. I'm not saying he's coming back to fight guaranteed, but we're talking right now about some stuff."
McGregor's agent, Audie Attar, confirmed to ESPN's Ariel Helwani that they've been in touch with the promotion.
"We had some very interesting talks with the UFC recently," he said. "We are excited about the future and working on some fun things. Exciting things to come in the near future."
McGregor said in June he plans to retire from mixed martial arts due to a lack of exciting fighting options, but the Irishman has not done so formally. The USADA, the UFC's anti-doping partner, is still testing him, with the latest test last week.
Police took the former two-division champion into custody last week in the Corsica region of France after prosecutors received a complaint against him "denouncing acts that could be described as attempted sexual assault and sexual exhibition."
McGregor denied "any accusation of misconduct" and was released Saturday without charges.
The 32-year-old last stepped into the cage in January when he headlined UFC 246 against Donald Cerrone in a welterweight contest. McGregor won via a 40-second TKO, earning his first victory since 2016.
McGregor originally intended to fight at least three times in 2020 - including this past summer - but the coronavirus pandemic put a damper on those plans. He's been an advocate for health and safety in Ireland during the crisis and has donated personal protective equipment to local hospitals.