"I have no clue. I don't know, we'll find out soon. We'll see," said White.
With Barnett facing a looming bout at the final Strikeforce card, it made sense that White would want to wait until after the fight to make a decision about the three-time drug offender.
When the event came, Barnett completely steamrolled opponent Nandor Guelmino despite fighting an illness all week. It was the kind of performance that displayed exactly why Barnett is too good to be fighting regional talent on small cards.
Fast forward to the UFC 158 press conference and the UFC president still hasn't made up his mind, but at least he is leaning towards offering "The Warmaster" a contract.
When directly asked if he wanted to see Barnett make a return to the Octagon, White avoided the question by stating, "It's probably gonna happen."
Winning nine of his last 10 fights, Barnett has beaten former world title contenders Jeff Monson, Brett Rogers and Pedro Rizzo, among other notables.
Barnett has been on Dana White's bad side ever since testing positive for steroids in a fight where he won the UFC heavyweight championship from Randy Couture back in 2002.