Conor McGregor Defends UFC 303 Withdrawal

Conor McGregor, recovering from a broken toe that forced him out of UFC 303, is focused on returning to the octagon fully healed and at peak performance, aiming to rebook his fight with Michael Chandler later this year.

Conor McGregor is eyeing perfection for his return.

Earlier this month, McGregor was forced out of his planned bout against Michael Chandler at UFC 303 due to injury. On Friday, McGregor revealed that the injury that forced him to withdraw was a broken toe. This revelation immediately received flak from fans and fellow fighters. But as far as McGregor is concerned, those people can go kick rocks.

On Saturday, McGregor attended Bellator Dublin, cornering his friend and teammate Sinead Kavanagh in her rematch with Arlene Blencowe. Kavanagh lost, but afterwards, Bellator commentator Dan Hardy still interviewed McGregor. He defended his choice to withdraw and fired back at critics.

“Conor McGregor talks about no longer giving ‘little bums’ an advantage by fighting injured,” read a tweet from MMA Fighting. “Now I’m dialing it in. I’m getting this training camp correct. I’m walking in there 100 percent Conor McGregor. Injury free.”

“I’m still here rocking away,” McGregor said. “I had a little lapse in concentration so I had to reschedule the bout, so I’m a little upset about that.” He added, “But it’s keeping me dialed in. It’s keeping me focused… The job is not done.”

“So that’s not bad for someone like me,” he continued. “I’m onwards towards the new date and take my lessons learned.”

“It was a lapse in concentration,” he reiterated. “If I was any one of these other little bums that can’t move, that have no footwork, that don’t rely on their skills, then I would be OK.”

“And I’ve done it before,” he said confidently. “I’ve made the walk a multitude of times in those circumstances and given these bums an advantage over me that they don’t even deserve.”

“So now I’m dialing it in,” he emphasized again. “I’m getting this training camp correct, I’m walking in there 100 percent Conor McGregor, injury free.” He concluded with a flourish: “Perfection is on the menu with me, and that’s it.”

After the event was over, McGregor also spoke with SevereMMA backstage about the injury and recovery. He mentioned that this break is actually more painful than the catastrophic leg injury he suffered against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 back in 2021.

“The injury is a nuisance,” McGregor admitted candidly. “It’s painful,” he said. “I’m not going to lie, it’s very, very painful.”

“Probably even more painful than the leg,” he added thoughtfully, “and that’s the truth.”

“And I’ll tell you why,” he explained further, “the leg, at least, was wrapped up.”

“I couldn’t access it,” he noted with frustration. “The foot is just there still; it’s like it’s exposed.”

“So it’s a bit painful but it comes with the territory,” he concluded.

Fortunately, the toe break has a much shorter recovery time than his leg break. McGregor hopes to rebook the Chandler fight later this year.

“August, September, I’d love [that],” McGregor said optimistically. “I’m in recovery mode.”

“It’s three weeks to the day; it happened three weeks ago today,” he shared.

“I’m still here rocking around in slippers,” he added with a chuckle.

“They’re not bad slippers,” he remarked casually. “Thankfully they’re cozy enough but I can’t get into a shoe yet.”


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