Conor McGregor will not fight at UFC 303 due to injury

Conor McGregor will not fight at UFC 303 due to injury

Ireland's Conor McGregor's long-awaited return to the octagon to face Michael Chandler will not happen at UFC 303 due to an injury.

The Crumlin native 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.

McGregor, one of the household names in the sport, was due to fight for the first time since losing to Dustin Poirier in July 2021. The Dublin native also broke his leg in that contest and has been itching to return ever since.

However, the scheduled fight against 38-year-old Michael Chandler on June 29 will now not go ahead. The Las Vegas event will now be headlined by Jiri Prochazka and champion Alex Pereira instead.

Announcing the news, UFC President Dana White said, "Conor McGregor is out of UFC 303 vs. Michael Chandler with an injury. The new main event is Alex Pereira, a former UFC middleweight champion and the first and only fighter to win both middleweight and light-heavyweight titles in UFC history.

Conor McGregor hits backs
(Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

“He did it in the shortest amount of time; he did it in 736 days and seven fights. He finished seven of nine wins by knockout, which is a 78 percent finish rate, and won 10 of his last 11 fights. He is facing former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka, who has an unbelievable 23 first-round wins.”

This comes after there had been serious doubts over the fight actually going ahead throughout the last few weeks. Recently, a Dublin press conference to promote the event was cancelled hours before it was due to start on June 3, with McGregor and his camp not initially offering any information as to what had happened.

McGregor then released a video, which has since been deleted, saying, "I think the more resistance you train with, the less movement and the more injury. The less resistance you train with, the more movement and the less injury.

"A band balances itself. You might be going a little bit lighter, but the positions you wouldn't be if everyone was tense. Everyone was trying to win every round."

McGregor's quest for another win goes on. His last win came against Donald Cerrone in January 2020.