Fight fans have been waiting for three years to see the return of Conor McGregor in the Octagon. They are going to have to wait a bit longer. 

The UFC 303 main event between McGregor and Michael Chandler is off, UFC president Dana White confirmed on Thursday. There have been rumors about the fight in limbo over the last week, ever since the press conference in Ireland was canceled at the last second.

Now, the fight is officially postponed until a later day. 

McGregor, the former lightweight and featherweight champion, has not fought since losing his trilogy fight to former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier. The two went toe-to-toe in a grudge match in July 2021, where Poirier secured a KO/TKO at the end of the first round. McGregor suffered a broken tibia which rendered him unable to continue. 

The last time Chandler, the former lightweight champion of Bellator, fought in the UFC was in November 2022. That fight also came against Poirier, where "Diamond" won via third-round submission. 

The two opponents are still expected to square off in the Octagon, but it will not happen at UFC 303 in Las Vegas

WATCH: UFC 303, exclusively on ESPN+

What's next for Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler?

McGregor (22-6) and Chandler (23-8) are still expected to fight at some point this year. The matchup will be re-booked at a later date. 

The reason that the fight won't occur at UFC 303 is due to an injury for McGregor, per White. He suffered the ailment right before the press conference in Dublin, which is what caused the presser to be canceled and the fight to be postponed. 

Ariel Helwani reported that the UFC, McGregor and his camp did "everything in their power to save" the fight, but eventually had no choice. 

What's next for UFC 303?

UFC 303, also referred to as UFC International Fight Week, now has a new headliner: Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka for the light heavyweight championship. 

The two 205-pounders fought before for the vacant lightweight title in November 2023. Pereira (10-2) won the bout via KO/TKO in the second round, securing his status as a double champ in the UFC. "Poatan" previously won the middleweight belt before losing in a rematch to Israel Adesanya, and then subsequently moving up a division. 

Prochazka (30-4-1) is the former lightweight champion. He defeated Pereira's teammate and former light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira in July 2022 for the belt but was forced to vacate the title after an injury. "BJP" lost to Pereira in his first fight back from the injury, but immediately put himself back into the title picture with a knockout win over contender Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 300 in April. 

There has also been a change for the co-main event at International Fight Week. Originally a light heavyweight bout between former light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill and rising contender Carlos Ulberg, it now will be a matchup of featherweights, as Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes are matched up in a pivotal scrap for the 145 division. 

2024-06-14T03:31:14Z dg43tfdfdgfd