Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler cancelled two weeks before UFC 303

Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler cancelled two weeks before UFC 303

Conor McGregor’s comeback fight has been cancelled, just two weeks before he was due to face Michael Chandler at UFC 303.

McGregor has not fought since breaking his leg in a July 2021 defeat but he was set to return to the Octagon on 29 June. However, the Las Vegas main event against Chandler has now been cancelled after the Irishman suffered an injury.

In the new main event of UFC 303, which takes place at the T-Mobile Arena, Alex Pereira will defend his light-heavyweight title in a rematch with Jiri Prochazka. Furthermore, Jamahal Hill is out of his co-main event against Carlos Ulberg; the new co-main event pits Brian Ortega against Diego Lopes, while Ulberg fights Anthony Smith.

The news comes after a spell of speculation, caused by the short-notice cancellation of a Dublin press conference on 3 June. The UFC offered no explanation after calling off the press conference.

In the days that followed, McGregor and Chandler both shared cryptic posts on social media, with the latter suggesting in an interview that the fight would go ahead.

McGregor, 35, has not won a bout since January 2020. In his last outing, he sustained a broken leg against Dustin Poirier, six months after losing to his old rival by knockout.

Meanwhile, Chandler last fought in November 2022, losing to Poirier via submission. The American, 38, last won a fight in May 2022.

McGregor vs Chandler was initially announced in February 2023. The pair went on to serve as opposing coaches on last year’s season of The Ultimate Fighter, a UFC reality TV show. Chandler’s team of fighters comfortably beat McGregor’s over the course of the season.

McGregor is a former featherweight and lightweight champion, having held both titles simultaneously in the UFC. Meanwhile, Chandler held the Bellator lightweight belt three times before joining the UFC in late 2019. However, the pair were set to square off at welterweight, where McGregor traded wins with Nate Diaz in 2016 and beat Donald Cerrone in 2020.