Is Conor McGregor Still Fighting Michael Chandler at UFC 303?

  • UFC star Conor McGregor is slated to make his return to the octagon at UFC 303 on June 29 to face Michael Chandler at welterweight.
  • This fight has been in the works for over two years, and the two were coaches in the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter.
  • However, a press conference for UFC 303 was canceled on June 3, and Ariel Helwani believes the fight is “very much in limbo”.

Conor McGregor is, unquestionably, the biggest star in the history of the UFC. Love him or hate him, McGregor brings in the fans, and the money. The Irish fighter has over 13 million pay-per-view buys to his name in the UFC, and another 5.3 million buys from his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

McGregor has been out of action since July 2021, when he broke his leg in a trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021. He was then called out by Michael Chandler after Chandler’s win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 in May 2022, and a fight was finally announced in April 2024.

You can still find UFC 303 odds for the clash. However, according to MMA journalist, Ariel Helwani, this fight could be in trouble.

UFC Said to Be Weighing Options, in Case McGregor-Chandler Is Off

Last week, Helwani tweeted that everything seemed to be fine for the fight, even after a press conference in Dublin was canceled on June 3:

Then, Helwani tweeted this on June 11:

On Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Helwani reported that the UFC was looking into alternate plans for UFC 303:

“The positivity that I talked about exactly one week ago today is nowhere to be found. I would say this fight is very much in limbo. I would say that it’s hanging on, and I would say the UFC is working very, very hard right now to figure out a plan B. Now, the plan B could be someone stepping in to fight Chandler or the plan C could be a whole new fight.”

The UFC has yet to comment on any of Helwani’s reports. Helwani and the UFC don’t have a great relationship. He was escorted out of UFC 199 for revealing Brock Lesnar’s UFC 200 return before the company did. However, that ban was overturned after an outpouring of support for Helwani, including from UFC fighters. It’s safe to say Helwani and UFC boss Dana White don’t see eye to eye.

This would be a massive blow to the UFC, especially as UFC 303 is the highlight of International Fight Week. Fans have been waiting for this fight for a long time, first, for McGregor to recover from his leg injury. Then, McGregor had to prepare for, and film, his role in the remake of Road House. After all that, White announced the fight was a go on April 14.

McGregor also said that he was quitting drinking and partying ahead of UFC 303. However, Bloody Elbow was one of numerous reports that revealed that McGregor was out late at The Black Forge Inn, a pub he owns in Dublin.

Where Does This Leave Chandler?

This is a tough break for Chandler, who won the lightweight belt in Bellator three times. Even though he is 2-3 in the UFC, all five of Chandler’s fights have been wildly entertaining. His unanimous-decision loss to Justin Gaethje was 2021’s Fight of the Year.

He has been waiting for this fight for a long time, and he knows the money McGregor, a former two-division UFC champion, brings in. It looks like Chandler could be missing out on a big payday. However, because McGregor is, by far, the biggest PPV draw in the UFC, he gets to dictate the terms.

The fight is still up at UFC betting sites, and again, the UFC hasn’t announced anything publicly yet. But Helwani is right about a lot of news before, and this wouldn’t be a major shock to anyone who knows MMA.

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About the Author
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Finn Archer
Finn is an experienced writer (having published articles under the name Phil Bowman) and longtime sports enthusiast based in Europe. His particular passion lies in soccer, as both a die-hard fan and seasoned bettor. That said, he’ll dabble in anything involving a ball, bat, or boxing gloves! He’s learned from his share of bad bets over the years and is keen to impart his wisdom so you don’t make the same mistakes. Since joining TSG, Finn has also gained valuable knowledge in the world of online casinos.

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