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Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor’s Next Fight at UFC303 Has Been Cancelled

When he’s not selling whiskey or starring in movie remakes, Conor McGregor occasionally remembers his status as a UFC champion. His last bout was back in 2021 when he lost for the third time to Dustin Poirier via technical knockout (due to a broken tibia). The Irish legend spent the next three years recovering from his injuries while pursuing various lucrative ventures and now, his highly anticipated fight against Michael Chandler at UFC303 has been cancelled.

He was set for the 29th of June, but a cancelled press conference and other mishaps left experts wondering if the fight was really going to happen. Now, UFC president Dana White has announced that McGregor is out of the fight with an injury, although he did not indicate what that injury is.

Light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira will take on Jiri Prochazka for the main event during International Fight Week on the same date, June 29, 2024, in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena.

RELATED: Conor McGregor’s UFC Diet & Workout Plan.

Conor mcgregor vs chandler rumors
Conor McGregor vs. Chandler | Image: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

When Was Conor McGregor’s Next Fight Scheduled?

Event: UFC 303
Date: June 29, 2024 (International Fight Week)
Location: Las Vegas, T-Mobile Arena
Opponent: Michael Chandler (Fight Now Cancelled)
Rounds: Five
Weight Division: Welterweight

UPDATE 14/07/2024: Conor McGregor does not have any fights scheduled at this time after UFC President Dana White announced his fight against Michael Chandler at UFC303 has been cancelled. The main event at UFC303 will now feature Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka for the Light Heavyweight Championship.

The 12th annual UFC International Fight Week kicks off on 24 June in Las Vegas and centres around UFC 303, which was originally scheduled to pit Conor McGregor against Michael Chandler in a welterweight bout. This showdown would come on the heels of a public rivalry, with McGregor and Chandler previously butting heads as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 31 reality series.

While both fighters are known for their striking, Chandler’s wrestling background serves as an interesting contrast to McGregor’s standing approach and powerful striking style. It adds another interesting layer of strategy to what was being touted as a high-stakes showdown between two formidable fighters. Speaking of high stakes, the fight was to have significant implications for the lightweight division at large, as a win for either fighter would have thrust them into title contention.

Of course, the real headline was that Notorious would be fighting at all. Would he have mounted a successful comeback at UFC 303—against a formidable opponent such as Chandler, no less—it would have added to his place as one of history’s greatest MMA fighters. For Chandler, meanwhile, a victorious outcome would be a career-defining moment. Suffice it to say, the cancellation of the bout left fans and experts severely disappointed.

Conor Mcgregor
Conor McGregor hasn’t fought since 2021 after breaking his shin bone at UFC2 98 | Image: Reuters

Lead Up to Conor McGregor’s Next Fight

For MMA fans, the bout between McGregor and Chandler was a long time coming. The two have been sparring verbally since 2023 and so a physical showdown was beginning to feel inevitable. However, McGregor first needed to clear a few hurdles—such as Road House promotional duties and six months of drug testing—before he could mount his official comeback. After a rumoured showdown at UFC 300 fell apart, the fight at UFC 303 was officially put in the books. Or so we thought…

UFC 303 Press Conference Cancelled

In the world of UFC, no news is often bad news. It was then a not-so-promising sign when the scheduled UFC 303 press conference in Dublin was “postponed until further notice” on 2 June. This has prompted numerous pundits and fans to suspect that the bout between McGregor and Chandler will not happen at all, and they were right. It was also reported that the UFC put out feelers for potential replacements at the main event, and Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka will replace McGregor vs. Chandler.

Conor McGregor’s Statement

One day after the press conference was delayed (or cancelled, rather), McGregor posted a formal response. It read: “In consultation with the UFC, today’s press conference was cancelled due to a series of obstacles outside of our control. I apologize to my Irish fans and fans around the world for the inconvenience, and I appreciate all your passion and support. I can’t wait to put on the greatest all-time show in the Octagon.”

McGregor Hasn’t Fought in 3 Years

When you’ve reached Conor McGregor’s level of fame and success, why fight at all? That’s what plenty of folks were wondering as they waited…and waited…for Notorious to return to the Octagon. At the UFC 298 post-fight press conference, UFC boss Dana White was asked directly about McGregor’s three-year hiatus, to which he replied, “The first problem was that he broke that shin bone. He was recovering from that. That was one of the reasons… The other problem is he’s f**king rich.”

Conor McGregor
McGregor Has Never Pulled Out of a Fight | Image: Getty

Why Conor McGregor’s Next Fight Could’ve Gone Ahead

McGregor’s next fight has been cancelled. However, many outlets were fairly convinced that the fight between McGregor and Chandler was going to happen at the time.

UFC and USADA’s Partnership is No More

One reason for McGregor’s delayed return to the UFC was that he needed to undergo the mandatory drug testing required by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Notorious did as such and also met the six-month requirement—making him eligible to fight earlier this year—but the experience wasn’t handled to anyone’s liking.

Recently, it was announced that the UFC and the USADA would be parting ways and that another agency would handle the UFC’s anti-doping requirements moving forward. One might interpret this move as a gesture of goodwill toward McGregor, indicating he had intentions to fight on 29 June, but they have since been squashed by an injury, according to Dana White.

Ariel Helwani Comments

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani was initially optimistic that the fight would progress, though he became less so as further reports unfolded. In a recent post on X, he stated that “feelers are being sent out again for June 29. For a replacement and/or new fight(s). In short, there seems to pessimism all over again regarding the status of the 303 main event. Actually even more pessimism – it seems – than on Monday last week after the presser was cancelled at the last minute.”

Okay, Helwani’s comments weren’t exactly a strong indication that the fight was going to go ahead. However, in the same post, he did wonder aloud: “Is this insurance? Due diligence? Emergency replacement mode? Remains to be seen. It’s all developing (again).”

Hence, many had strands of hope, but relatively thin strands at that. Meanwhile, the general sentiment is that if McGregor doesn’t fight, he might as well announce his retirement.

McGregor Has Still Never Pulled Out of a Fight

There are many things we know about Conor McGregor and one is that he almost always puts his money where his mouth is. To provide another relevant idiom, this dude talks the talk and walks the walk. Combine that with the fact that he’s never pulled out of a fight before and one had decent reason to believe that UFC 303 was going to happen as planned. Now, with Dana White announcing that McGregor would be out of the fight due to injury, that theme continues.

UFC Must Offer Refunds If Cancelled

You know how we said that McGregor puts his money where his mouth is? In this case, we’re talking about a lot of money, not just for him but for the UFC at large. As it just so happens, McGregor really likes money and so does Dana White. On that note, one can only imagine how much they both will lose now that the fight isn’t going to happen. We don’t just mean refunds to ticket holders, but sponsorship deals, salaries, and other related revenue streams.

So Who is Fighting at UFC303?

The full fight card for UFC303 is as follows:

  • MAIN EVENT: Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka: Light Heavyweight Title Bout
  • Brian Ortega vs. Diego Lopes: Featherweight Bout
  • Anthony Smith vs. Carlos Ulberg: Light Heavyweight Bout
  • Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Macy Chiasson: Women’s Bantamweight Bout
  • Joe Pyfer vs. Marc-Andre Barriault: Middleweight Bout
  • Cub Swanson vs. Andre Fili: Featherweight Bout
  • Charles Jourdain vs. Jean Silva: Featherweight Bout
  • Payton Talbott vs. Yanis Ghemmouri: Bantamweight Bout
  • Michelle Waterson-Gomez vs. Gillian Robertson: Women’s Strawweight Bout
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Martin Buday: Heavyweight Bout
  • Rei Tsuruya vs. Carlos Hernandez: Flyweight Bout
  • Ricky Simon vs. Vinicius Oliveira: Bantamweight Bout

UFC303 will start at 12pm, Sunday, June 30th in Australia.

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