Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler off; Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka 2 now headlines UFC 303

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Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler is no longer happening at UFC 303 on June 29.

The highly anticipated showdown between the recent Ultimate Fighter 31 coaches has been scrapped after a pre-fight press conference cancellation led to immediate speculation that the matchup was in jeopardy. The fight is now officially cancelled and pulled from the card with McGregor out due to an injury.

With McGregor out, UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira steps up on short notice to defend his title in a rematch against Jiri Prochazka to cap off International Fight Week 2024.

UFC CEO Dana White announced the changes Thursday.

It’s been a wild ride getting to this point after the abrupt press conference cancellation, which was followed by McGregor issuing a statement saying that the promotional event in Ireland was scrapped “due to a series of obstacles outside of our control.”

Despite renewed optimism days later that McGregor vs. Chandler would move forward as scheduled, the UFC continued to prepare for the worst-case scenario. That’s exactly what ended up happening with McGregor no longer returning in June. The appearance would have been McGregor’s first fight in three years after he suffered a devastating broken leg in a fight against Dustin Poirier in 2021.

The saga also means Chandler continues to wait on the sidelines after putting his career on hold to wait for the McGregor fight. His most recent appearance in the UFC came back in 2022, and he could be staring at a two-year absence before he finally competes again.

As for the new main event, Pereira saves the day alongside Prochazka in a rematch that was originally rumored to take place later in the summer.

A former middleweight champion who now rules at 205 pounds, Pereira has been unstoppable in his new weight class after winning the belt with a knockout over Prochazka in 2023 and then defending his belt with a vicious finish of Jamahal Hill to cap off the historic UFC 300 card in April.

As for Prochazka, he got back to his winning ways at that same UFC 300 card with a second-round knockout of Aleksandar Rakic. The Czech-born fighter now seeks revenge when he clashes with Pereira for a second time on June 29.

As for the co-main event, Hill has also been knocked off the card with a knee injury so featherweights Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes step up on short notice to fill the void. They meet in the new co-main event, while Hill’s original opponent Carlos Ulberg remains on the card against one-time title challenger Anthony Smith, who steps up on short-notice to compete at UFC 303.

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