LAS VEGAS -- UFC president Dana White says it's still not a given the company's biggest star, lightweight champion Conor McGregor, ever fights again.
Earlier this month, the UFC was still optimistic McGregor (21-3) would return as early as this year, at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas. The two sides are in the process of negotiating a new deal, however, and McGregor is not expected to fight again in 2017.
In the meantime, McGregor, 29, has remained in the headlines due to questionable behavior, including an incident in which he pushed a referee at an event in Dublin.
According to White, McGregor's future is anything but clear at the moment. He is coming off the biggest payday of his career against Floyd Mayweather in August.
"We were working on a fight for him at the end of the year, and he's just not ready," White told reporters Tuesday.
"We're still in that 'Conor might never fight again' [phase]. The guy's got a f---ing $100 million. I've got guys who have made less than that, who were lawyers their whole lives and quit working ... And fighting is the worst. Try to get up and get punched in the face for a living when you've got $100 million in the bank."
White expressed some concern regarding McGregor's recent behavior.
"Conor is a rich kid, who is a god in Ireland," White said. "That's not the healthiest environment."
Obviously, the UFC is eager for some clarity regarding McGregor's near-future. In addition to being the company's biggest star, he hasn't defended his 155-pound title since claiming it in November 2016 at UFC 205.
White did not offer a specific time frame for potentially stripping McGregor of the belt, but said both sides are working on it.
"At the end of the day, I'm going to run this business with or without anybody," White said. "If Conor wants to fight again, we absolutely want Conor to come back. But if Conor walks away and doesn't fight again, it's part of the game.
"We need to figure that out. Right now, with him, it's not about defend or vacate. We're working on a new deal with him. We've got to work out this new deal."