President Dana White says "anything is possible" with regards to a high-profile, lucrative rematch to the 'Money Fight' between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr in the UFC and is talking to influential advisor Al Haymon, though insists there are no negotiations active at present.
McGregor was stopped in the 10th round of his boxing debut at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in August 2017, with the previously retired Mayweather, who turns 41 this weekend, hanging up his gloves for the second time after surpassing Rocky Marciano's long-standing mark to take his unblemished professional record to an unprecedented 50-0.
The eye-watering finances involved in that contest and the sheer interest created meant that speculation over a second meeting was never likely to be far away and sure enough it has really begun to build over recent weeks, with 'Money' primarily utilising social media to generate plenty of buzz regarding a possible temporary switch to the Octagon.
Questioned about the potential rematch by TMZ Sports on Thursday [22 February], UFC chief White reiterated that it would only make sense under MMA rules and was discussing matters with Haymon, powerful advisor to Mayweather.
"I don't know [if a rematch is anywhere close]. I think the only way a rematch makes sense in that fight is in the UFC," he said. "We're talking. Al Haymon and I have a very good relationship, we always talk. So we'll see."
Asked if Mayweather was more worried about the potential financial rewards on offer or the notably different skill set required, he added: "He absolutely should be worried about his skills. The paycheck's going to be there, he should worry about the skills.
"I don't know [if a nine-figure sum is available for Mayweather to compete in the UFC], it all depends on what the thing could sell. That's what you pay - you pay whatever you think you could make from selling the fight."
White stopped short of saying that the prospects of a rematch were not good, though admitted there were no negotiations currently underway.
Earlier this week, McGregor, whose own coach Jon Kavanagh admitted that there "seems to be something forming" with regards to another bout, took to social media to jump on Mayweather's rather dismissive comments at NBA All-Star Weekend that he had already fought the Irishman as an "announcement that he is out of these current fight negotiations".
White said: "There's nothing done, we're not in active negotiations. Anything is possible, but I don't think Floyd needs the money right now."
Occupied by that maiden foray into pro boxing and the birth of his son Conor Jr, former featherweight kingpin McGregor has not fought in the UFC since dethroning lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 to become the first fighter in the promotion's history to hold two world titles concurrently.
Confusion has reigned with regards to the status of his remaining belt as interim champion Tony Ferguson and undefeated Russian contender Khabib Nurmagomedov prepare to finally square off at UFC 223 in Brooklyn on 7 April, though White reiterated that fight was for the proper title and acknowledged that meant McGregor, who he still believes may never return to the Octagon, would have to be stripped.