UFC Insider Casts Doubt on McGregor’s Return Against Chandler

UFC Insider Casts Doubt on McGregor’s Return Against Chandler

Award-winning MMA journalist Ariel Helwani reported that doubt may still hover over Conor McGregor’s highly anticipated UFC return against Michael Chandler on June 29.

The Irishman is scheduled to make his first walk to the Octagon since breaking his leg in a loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021. However, his UFC 303 main event against Iron Mike has been under turbulence just weeks away from the event.

On Wednesday, Helwani posted a tweet providing an update from his sources. The MMA Hour host says that after pausing feelers and replacement searches, the UFC has resumed the backup quest.

‘Since this morning, multiple sources are now saying feelers are being sent out again for June 29. For a replacement and/or new fight(s),’ Helwani wrote.

‘In short, there seems to [be] pessimism all over again regarding the status of the 303 main event. Actually even more pessimism – it seems – than on Monday last week after the presser was canceled at the last minute.’

Conor McGregor's UFC return against Michael Chandler may still be in doubt weeks away

Conor McGregor’s UFC return against Michael Chandler may still be in doubt weeks away 

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani reported that the UFC are once again sending out feelers

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani reported that the UFC are once again sending out feelers 

‘Is this insurance? Due diligence? Emergency replacement mode? Remains to be seen. It’s all developing (again),’ Helwani continued. ‘But it doesn’t appear as though we are out of the woods either way just yet. More to come, and hopefully a definitive answer one way or the other In short order.’

The skepticism toward the highly-anticipated fight began when a June 1 press conference in Dublin got postponed in the 11th hour.

After the presser was called off, McGregor apologized to the fans and cited the cancelation was due to a ‘series of obstacles out of our control.’

The events that transpired from that point worried fans as it appeared the build-up was sprinting towards a wall of disappointment.

Chandler reportedly left training camp after the June 1 press conference was cancelled

Chandler reportedly left training camp after the June 1 press conference was cancelled 

UFC chief Dana White has been surprisingly quiet since rumors of a cancelled fight surfaced

UFC chief Dana White has been surprisingly quiet since rumors of a cancelled fight surfaced 

The UFC paused advertising UFC 303 on pay-per-view and archived the free Conor McGregor fights posted to promote the event. McGregor and UFC chief Dana White remained quiet through the period, while Chandler hinted through an Instagram post that he had left training camp and went home to Nashville.

‘If you’re looking for me, I’ll be out in Tennessee. No way out of the life we chose,’ Chandler wrote. ‘Walk On. See you at the top!’

Additionally, the UFC reportedly sent out feelers and looked for potential replacements, gearing for a worst-case scenario.

However, fans saw a ray of light when the campaign for the fight resumed. On June 8, the UFC posted an official promo for the UFC 303 main event across their YouTube and social media platforms.

McGregor has not fought since breaking his leg in a loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021

McGregor has not fought since breaking his leg in a loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021 

McGregor and Chandler coached opposite each other in a season of The Ultimate Fighter

McGregor and Chandler coached opposite each other in a season of The Ultimate Fighter 

The fight between Chandler and McGregor was officially announced after UFC 300 in April

The fight between Chandler and McGregor was officially announced after UFC 300 in April

‘Around this time last week, all the anxiety surrounding the UFC 303 main event seemed to start to dissipate,’ Helwani wrote. ‘By Wednesday, no more feelers about replacements were being sent out. All systems seemed to be a go (again).’

‘Later in the week, Chandler did an interview with The Pivot about it being all good, and on Saturday UFC was promoting it again on the ABC fight night telecast. There was a scare about the fight being off and the scare appeared to be no more.’

While speculations continue to circulate about whether the pair will meet in the Octagon come June 29, there appears to be no definitive confirmation from White, McGregor, and Chandler about the finality of the contest.

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