Conor McGregor pulls out of UFC 303 after Chandler’s final sparring session

Conor McGregor pulls out of UFC 303 after Chandler’s final sparring session

Michael Chandler has opened up on how he discovered the news that his highly-anticipated UFC 303 main event against Conor McGregor was cancelled.

The long-term rivals were supposed to finally do battle on June 30 to culminate a feud that has lasted nearly two years, but they will again have to wait after it was revealed the bout wouldn’t be happening.

After the Dublin press conference was cancelled without explanation, it was revealed that McGregor, who has since promised to return, had to pull out of the fight due to another injury.

He will now pass three years without stepping inside a UFC octagon, with president Dana White admitting he’s unsure if the Irishman will ever compete for the company again.

Chandler, meanwhile, has been left without direction, and took to social media to explain his reaction to the news.

Michael Chandler has opened up on how he discovered his fight about Conor McGreogor had been cancelled

Michael Chandler has opened up on how he discovered his fight about Conor McGreogor had been cancelled

The two rivals were supposed to finally do battle in the main event of UFC 303 next weekend

The two rivals were supposed to finally do battle in the main event of UFC 303 next weekend

McGregor, however, pulled out due to injury with his return to the sport still up in the air

McGregor, however, pulled out due to injury with his return to the sport still up in the air

‘I got the rug pulled out from underneath me at the last possible moment,’ he said. ‘I just had got done with my last sparring session, Thursday morning, had been hearing rumblings since Monday, obviously, but really got the call about an hour after my last sparring session was completed. An hour after a celebration.

‘Anybody who has trained for a fight or anybody who has gone through a training camp for something, you go through a really hard block and then, in order to peak, you get toward the very end, you don’t go hard anymore, as to throw yourself into the fire and take the chance of injuries, over training, bumps, bruises, cuts, all those different things.

‘I had just gotten done with that. The happiest and healthiest, hardest to kill, most dangerous man I have ever been in my entire life, in that moment. To 30 minutes later getting a phone call that all of that was for naught.’

Chandler had repeatedly insisted in the build-up to the cancellation that the fight would go ahead as had been scheduled.

Neither fighter had pulled out of a fight before last week, but, with McGregor’s future uncertain, Chandler has been left potentially having to look elsewhere for his next opponent.

The 38-year-old, howvever, wasn’t looking for sympathy and has insisted he is looking forward. 

‘So what do I do now?’ he added. ‘A little bit of uncertainty in my life. When’s this fight going to happen? What date would it be re-booked for? What venue? How bad is the injury? Reports have come out that it’s not that bad, just needs a little bit of a delay. But still, no guarantees.

‘I thrive when there are no guarantees. Just a walk-on kid from High Ridge, Mo, who has continued to trod in a forward trajectory no matter what the opposition, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the situation. It’s not up to me to will outcomes into existence. 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.

The Irishman will now go past three years without stepping inside a UFC octagon to compete

The Irishman will now go past three years without stepping inside a UFC octagon to compete

Chandler refused to accept any sympathy as he revealed his determination to continue looking forward

Chandler refused to accept any sympathy as he revealed his determination to continue looking forward

‘Don’t you dare disrespect me by feeling sorry for me. Don’t you dare disrespect me by having any kind of sympathy. Be emboldened by my situation. Be emboldened by my steadfastness and my immovability, of hitching my dreams to a shooting star and continuing to move forward. If you’ve been on this journey with me for a long time, you know how I operate. You know where my mindset is, where my mental is. And it is nowhere near down in the dumps.

‘I am emboldened by this test, and this test ain’t done yet. And this test shall turn into part of my testimony. So we keep moving forward in the face of adversity, with complete disregard to previous failures, previous setbacks, previous things outside of out control, and future opposition.’

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