Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler off UFC 303 card due to injury

14 Jun 2024

Conor McGregor’s return to the octagon will have to wait.

UFC announced Thursday that his fight against Michael Chandler will no longer headline UFC 303 in Las Vegas on June 29 because of injury.

UFC 303 - Figure 1
Photo NBC News

Light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira will defend his belt against Jiri Prochazka in the new main event, UFC CEO Dana White announced in a video on social media.

It would have been McGregor’s first bout since July 2021, when he lost by first-round TKO to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. McGregor broke the tibia in his left leg that night, rendering him unable to compete further. The injury required surgery and months of recovery. 

McGregor, the former featherweight and lightweight champion, boasts just one win — a first-round TKO of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 — in nearly eight years. 

McGregor, a brash Irishman known as much for his charisma outside the cage as his skill set in it, is without a doubt the biggest superstar in mixed martial arts history. He has headlined the five best-selling pay-per-view UFC events of all time, including his matchup with Dagestani star Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018, which drew 2.4 million purchases.

He also fought boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in the ring in August 2017. The spectacle generated 4.3 million PPVs — among the most ever for a sporting event. 

Chandler, a former UFC lightweight title challenger and longtime Bellator champion, has not competed since November 2022, hoping to face McGregor. He is 2-3 in five UFC fights but has received post-fight performance bonuses in four of those bouts. 

It is unclear whether the matchup will be rescheduled.

Greg Rosenstein

Greg Rosenstein is the sports editor for NBC News Digital.

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