Michael Chandler's anticipated fight against Conor McGregor has been postponed. UFC president Dana White announced on Thursday that McGregor, who was set to headline UFC 303 against Chandler on June 29, has pulled out due to an injury.

Although White did not specify McGregor's injury, he did announce the replacement fight for the main event of International Fight Week. Light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira will face off against Jiri Prochazka.

Conor McGregor's return since 2021 injury

Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett (9) between play against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period in game one of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Chandler and McGregor's bout was officially announced as the main event for UFC 303 by UFC CEO Dana White in April. This fight was set to be McGregor's first since 2021, following his hiatus due to a broken leg sustained during a loss to Dustin Poirier.

McGregor took time off to heal from his leg injury and reentered the UFC scene as a coach in “The Ultimate Fighter 31” in 2023, alongside Chandler. Traditionally, coaches from the show face off after its conclusion, but their fight never materialized.

UFC 303 in shambles

UFC 303 was filled with twists and turns. McGregor and Chandler were slated to attend a press conference to promote their bout on June 3, but rumors began circulating the day before, suggesting potential issues. On the morning of the scheduled press conference, UFC released a statement announcing its cancellation, providing no additional details.

It's been a rough week for UFC 303, as the co-main event featuring former champ Jamahal Hill and Carlos Ulberg has also fallen through, as reported by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani. However, there's talk of adding a featherweight bout between Brian Ortega to fill the gap on the card.

History between McGregor and Chandler

After securing the lightweight championship by defeating Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 and becoming the first UFC fighter to concurrently hold titles in two weight classes (alongside his featherweight title).

McGregor has only competed in the Octagon on four occasions. Three of those four bouts ended in stoppage losses for McGregor, including a defeat to then-lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in what is considered one of the most significant UFC fights ever.

His sole victory came against Donald Cerrone during Cerrone's six-fight losing streak that marked the end of his career.

Chandler, aged 38, hasn't been in the Octagon since his loss with Poirier at UFC 281 in November 2022. He has shown some interest in facing Nate Diaz and BMF titleholder Max Holloway, although Diaz is not currently under contract with the UFC.

Michael Chandler reaffirmed their commitment to never backing out of fights in a tweet on Thursday, pointing out that neither he nor McGregor had ever pulled out of a fight throughout their careers.

McGregor shared a clip from earlier in his career on Instagram, discussing the impact of training intensity on injury rates. The content of the clip, along with the emojis McGregor used, suggests that his return for UFC 303 might be in doubt due to concerns about potential injuries.

It's crunch time for UFC 303, just 16 days away. It will be interesting to see which fights the UFC organizes to replace the main and co-main events on the card.