Michael Chandler has assured fans that his highly anticipated fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 303 is still on, despite recent speculation about a possible cancellation, reported by the Independent. This reassurance comes after a series of confusing events, including a last-minute cancellation of a pre-fight press conference and the removal of promotional videos by the UFC.

On June 3, the UFC abruptly canceled a pre-fight press conference in Dublin without providing any explanation. This sudden change sparked rumors and concerns about the status of the main event scheduled for June 29. Adding to the uncertainty, the UFC removed recently uploaded YouTube videos of McGregor’s past fights, while both McGregor and Chandler posted cryptic messages on social media, fueling speculation about the fight's status.

Michael Chandler's Reassurance

Speaking on The Pivot podcast on June 7, Chandler addressed the swirling rumors, confirming that the fight is still scheduled to take place as planned. “The fight’s happening. Where we are right now, there’s a lot of speculation, but the fight is on,” Chandler stated. “29 June, it’s happening […] I do believe that Conor shows up. Conor shows up under the bright lights, he lives for these moments.”

In a move that further eased concerns, the UFC began re-uploading videos of past fights featuring McGregor and Chandler. Additionally, McGregor shared a series of sparring videos, which alleviated fears of any potential injury that could prevent him from fighting.

The cancelled UFC 303 press conference

Chandler provided insight into the canceled press conference, describing his initial reaction to the news. “I was actually up late [the previous Saturday] night, because the fights were on the east coast. So, I didn’t get into bed until like 12.30am, 1am, because I wanted to watch Islam [Makhachev] vs [Dustin] Poirier. Watched that fight, so I had probably fallen asleep for maybe 45 minutes, maybe an hour, and I woke up to my phone buzzing.”

The call that woke Chandler came from UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell. Chandler recounted the conversation: “He called me and let me know: ‘Hey, it’s looking like this thing isn’t going to happen.’ So, obviously I laid there and thought about it for quite a while, and then the next morning, we got on a call. He said: ‘It’s not happening.’”

While the cancellation of a press conference is not uncommon, Chandler acknowledged the layers of speculation it can trigger, especially in today’s social media-driven world. “If a presser is cancelled, is something else wrong? Is there something going on? Obviously immediately, speculation starts going all over the place in 2024 – social media and all that stuff.”

Despite the uncertainty, Chandler remained focused on what he could control. “I just kept resting in the fact that I can only control what I can control. I’ve been doing that now for a year-and-a-half.”

UFC 303

The fight between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler was first announced in February 2023, but details such as the date, location, and weight class were only confirmed in April 2024. The bout will take place at welterweight, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

McGregor, now 35, has not fought since July 2021, when he suffered a broken leg in his second consecutive loss to Dustin Poirier. On the other hand, Chandler, 38, last competed in November 2022, where he lost to Poirier via submission.

With the fight set to proceed, fans eagerly await June 29, when these two formidable fighters will finally clash in the octagon. The buildup to this fight has been filled with drama and uncertainty, but both Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor appear ready to deliver an electrifying performance.

As the date approaches, the focus will shift from the off-stage drama to the preparations and strategies each fighter will bring to the cage. UFC 303 promises to be a thrilling event, with the potential to become one of the most memorable fights in recent history.