Conor McGregor’s Appearance in UFC 303 Cancelled

Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler


Conor McGregor’s return to the octagon has been delayed, causing a significant shake-up in the UFC 303 lineup and impacting ticket prices on the resale market and the UFC odds. The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion was set to fight Michael Chandler but withdrew due to an injury.

UFC President Dana White announced that McGregor is out of UFC 303 with an injury,  and the new main event will be a light heavyweight title rematch between champion Alex Pereira and former champion Jiri Procházka. UFC odds favored Chandler before the withdrawal. 

The Report

It was reported that McGregor’s injury occurred earlier this month, just before a press conference in Dublin, which had to be canceled. Initially, there was hope that McGregor could recover in time, but it became clear about 48 hours before the announcement that the fight would not happen.

Michael Chandler expressed his disappointment, noting that he and McGregor had never pulled out of a fight. Chandler, who has been waiting 19 months for this matchup, was in peak condition after his final sparring session when he received the news.

Despite the setback, Chandler remains optimistic and hopes the fight will be rescheduled later this year.


Other Changes to 303 

The co-main event also faced changes due to injury. Former light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill was supposed to fight Carlos Ulberg but Hill’s injury led to the fight being replaced with a featherweight fight between Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes.


Impact on Ticket Sales and Betting

UFC 303, scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on June 29, had already made history with ticket sales exceeding $20 million, according to White. This makes it the highest live gate in UFC history and the first event to surpass the $20 million mark, largely driven by the excitement of McGregor’s return after nearly three years. Even the betting industry has been affected by this incident directly affecting the UFC betting lines regarding parlays and many prop bets.

However, with McGregor out, ticket resale prices have dropped significantly. The average ticket price was around $843, more than four times higher than other UFC events. Before the announcement, the cheapest ticket on the secondary market was $1,084, but it has since dropped to $500 on StubHub, with most upper deck seats selling for less than $1,000.

The Event Planning

The planned main event between McGregor and Chandler was set to be McGregor’s first MMA appearance since UFC 264 in July 2021, where he lost to then-No.1 lightweight Dustin Poirier in the first round after a doctor stoppage. This loss was McGregor’s second consecutive defeat to Poirier. 

Since then, McGregor has focused on his liquor business and movie career, starring in the remake of Roadhouse alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. His showdown with Chandler had been built up over the past year as they coached opposing teams in the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter. Chandler even appeared on a WWE show in February to call out McGregor.


Chandler remains determined despite the postponement. In a video released after the news, he addressed the situation, stating:

“I got the rug pulled out from underneath me at the last possible moment. But I thrive when there are no guarantees. It is up to me to do the work. We let the work talk. We do the work. And we do the work until we become undeniable.” 

Chandler and MMA fans hope that the fight will eventually happen.