Michael Chandler Confident McGregor Fight Set for UFC 303

Michael Chandler remains confident and continues to train for his scheduled fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 303, despite uncertainties and a last-minute cancellation of a pre-fight press conference.

Michael Chandler is still training and preparing to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 303.

Despite rampant speculation that the bout capping off International Fight Week 2024 could potentially be in jeopardy after a pre-fight press conference in Dublin, Ireland was scrapped at the very last minute, the former Bellator lightweight champion has every confidence that he’s still preparing for a showdown against McGregor in just a few weeks’ time.

“The fight’s happening,” Chandler told The Pivot podcast. “Where we are right now, there’s a lot of speculation but the fight is on. June 29. It’s happening.”

Considering the rollercoaster that Chandler’s been riding for the past year and a half, it’s understandable why the press conference cancellation had so many people concerned.

McGregor hasn’t fought since 2021 when he shattered his leg in a fight against Dustin Poirier. Less than two years later, he signed on to coach opposite Chandler on The Ultimate Fighter with all signs pointing towards an eventual fight after the reality show finished airing.

Those dates came and went but the fight never got scheduled.

Then McGregor ended up at odds with the United States Anti-Doping Agency after he dropped out of the UFC’s drug testing pool. Under the terms of the program, McGregor had to undergo six months of testing before fighting again, which pushed back the date of the Chandler fight even further.

It appeared like all the doubts and confusion finally washed away when the promotion finally announced McGregor vs. Chandler as the headliner for UFC 303 but then the press conference cancellation had the entire world wondering if perhaps this matchup was just doomed to never happen.

“So I was actually up late that night because the fights were on the East coast,” Chandler revealed about his discovery that the press conference was cancelled. “So I didn’t get into bed until like 12:30, 1 [a.m.] 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. It was Hunter Campbell.

“Everyone knows Dana White as the face, but Hunter Campbell is kind of the guy behind the guy, handles a lot of stuff in the UFC and 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 and he said ‘it’s not happening.’”

Once the press conference was cancelled, Chandler remained steadfast that he was still fighting but no one ever came forward with any reason why the event to hype up UFC 303 just got scrapped at the last minute.

McGregor’s statement didn’t exactly instill confidence after he stated that the press conference was called off “due to a series of obstacles outside of our control” but added nothing further.

Regardless of the public perception, Chandler never lost faith because he could have done that dozens of times already after the initial delays in actually booking the fight against McGregor kept getting pushed back.

“A cancelled presser, not that big of a deal, right? It happens,” Chandler said. “But it’s the layers in which if a presser is cancelled, is something else wrong? Is there something going on? Obviously then immediately speculation starts going all over the place in 2024, social media and all that stuff.

“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 with this whole fight.”

While the reason behind the press conference cancellation remains a mystery, McGregor released training footage that showed him hard at work, which seemingly dispelled any rumors that he might be dealing with an injury.

With McGregor’s reputation built around always showing up for a fight, Chandler has every confidence that isn’t going to change with UFC 303 rapidly approaching.

“I do believe that Conor shows up,” Chandler said. “Conor shows up under the bright lights. He lives for these moments.”


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