Michael Chandler to Attend UFC 303, Minus Conor McGregor: "I Made a Promise"

Chandler made a commitment to be at UFC 303 and in his eyes, "it still stands".
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Chandler will show up to work, even on his day off.

It's a hard to pill to swallow for the former Bellator Lightweight Champion as he won't be fighting Conor McGregor at UFC 303 on June 29th, after all, with the Irishman having withdrawn from the bout due to injury for the first time in his career. McGregor vs. Chandler will likely be rescheduled for the fall, with Chandler's patience wearing thin after almost two years of waiting.

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Instead of Chandler fighting someone else in the UFC 303 main event, the 38 year-old decided to stay the course for a super-fight with McGregor - likely having to wait until the fall to finally get his hands on "The Notorious".

With fear of the pay-per-view event being scrapped, UFC 303 was ultimately saved thanks to Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka (along with others) stepping up on short-notice for a light heavyweight title rematch which now headlines all the action from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chandler To Honor His UFC Promise

While he's not obligated to, Chandler still plans on attending UFC 303 as a spectator as a way to honor the "promise" he made to the UFC brass and the fans before his fight fallout with McGregor.

"Alex Pereira versus Jiri Prochazka.... just 6 days ago, it was McGregor versus Chandler. It's my card," Chandler said in a video posted to Instagram. "It was my card whenever I signed the bout agreement, signed my name to a piece of paper that said I would be at UFC 303. I made a promise. I made a commitment, and that commitment still stands. Because your word is your bond. And without your word, you are no good. If you cannot be relied upon, if people don't believe that you're gonna follow through with what you say you're going to do, the definition of integrity is doing what you say you're going to do without fail."

"So, yes, I will be at UFC 303. No, I will not be fighting at UFC 303," Chandler added. "But, I'm going to see through to my commitment. Life and success and growth and attainment and getting the life that you want has everything to do with following through on the things that you said that you were going to do. Yeah, I understand the circumstances have changed, and I would not be faulted one bit if I did not show up to UFC 303. Maybe I'm going to UFC 303 because I wanna go to UFC 303. But I will be at UFC 303 nonetheless, mainly because I made a commitment to be there. So, hopefully, I will see you guys out there."

Dana White's Two Cents On Michael Chandler

UFC CEO Dana White doesn't blame Michael Chandler for waiting on a massive payday against Conor McGregor, however, he does offer "Iron" the option to take a fight before then to keep him active. After all, Chandler isn't getting any younger at 38.

Michael Chandler to Attend UFC 303, Minus Conor McGregor: "I Made a Promise"
Nov 12, 2022; New York, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) and Michael Chandler (blue gloves) during UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports / Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

"I think poor Chandler wants to wait for Conor McGregor," White said on 'The Jim Rome Show'. "Whatever he wants to do. If he wants to get a fight this summer, we'll we'll do whatever he wants. He's one of the greatest athletes I've ever worked with. He's a good human being, and I like him a lot. Whatever he wants to do, we'll figure out."

Michael Chandler last entered the Octagon to face perennial contender Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 back in Nov. 2022, where he lost by submission in the third round. Chandler hasn't fought since.

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Christopher De Santiago

CHRISTOPHER DE SANTIAGO

Christopher De Santiago is a 22 year-old journalist from Gainesville, Texas with years of experience covering MMA.