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Conor McGregor’s UFC return appears to be getting canceled: ‘Just a formality at this point’

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

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani reported that the fight between McGregor and Michael Chandler at UFC 303 being called off would be “a formality at this point.”

“It’s not 100% off but I’d be extremely surprised at this point if it remains and they are actively negotiating with multiple camps to find a replacement,” Helwani posted on X. “It’s all up in the air still but they are proceeding at this time like they need a replacement.”

The issue is the 35-year-old McGregor, who hinted at a possible injury on his Instagram Story on Wednesday night. 

The Story was an old clip where he was discussing injuries in UFC, which included sad-face and praying hands emojis. 


Rumors were also circulating after the cancellation of a Dublin press conference on June 3, which the UFC gave no reason for just hours before it was supposed to happen. 

It’s unclear when McGregor may have suffered an injury, as he was recently seen dancing with his fiancée in Ireland and appeared healthy at the time. 

Conor McGregor before the Poirier fight

McGregor’s return to the Octagon is something the UFC world has been waiting for, as he was last seen in July 2021 fighting Dustin Poirier. He broke his shin during the fight, and he hasn’t returned in three years. 

Whether UFC CEO Dana White can find a main event replacement, if McGregor officially can’t go, is up in the air. Some have mentioned Max Holloway, but he’s been in Japan, according to his social media. 

It’s a quick turnaround — UFC 303 is in two weeks — so finding a replacement is going to be tough. Plus, McGregor’s return was the large pull for this card, so there won’t be the same draw if a replacement is found. 

Conor McGregor claps

McGregor, despite all his business ventures outside the octagon, still wants to fight. But it doesn’t look like the hiatus is ending soon.  

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