MMA Today: Conor McGregor’s UFC 303 Fallout Has MMA World Buzzing + What’s Coming Up

Conor McGregor’s return is still in limbo.
Jul 10, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor before fighting against Dustin Poirier during UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 10, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor before fighting against Dustin Poirier during UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to “MMA Today,” a weekly series hosted by MMAKO’s Zain Bando that provides the latest updates across the MMA landscape – except this week. 

While many events took place over the weekend, including UFC Vegas 93, fight bookings, re-shuffling, and Gervonta Davis' return, there is one story that meant the most to combat sports enthusiasts: Conor McGregor and UFC 303.

Conor McGregor Won’t Return at UFC 303 After All 

It’s Monday, June 17, and instead of getting excited about Conor McGregor’s comeback fight against Michael Chandler, MMA fans, media members and fellow enthusiasts are left scratching their heads about what could have been. McGregor, 35, withdrew from his bout against Chandler due to an unspecified injury revealed by UFC CEO Dana White within the last four days. Two weeks before the fight, making matters even more mind-boggling.

Fans React to Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler Being Pulled from UFC 303 Card

It’s the first time in a decade that McGregor, once the UFC’s first-time simultaneous two-division champion, has pulled out of a fight due to injury concerns. The biggest gate in UFC history is likely squashed, aiming for a rescheduled date (and potentially brand-new PPV date to salvage a fight over a year and a half in the making.

Regardless of when or where it happens, the world will be glued to their TVs to see what goes down. McGregor owns six (including the Floyd Mayweather one-off boxing match) of the biggest pay-per-views in combat sports history, making his fights a must-see experience.

BREAKING: Conor McGregor out of UFC 303, Dana White Reveals 3 Replacement Fights

According to McGregor’s statement, he did his best to move forward with the fight, which is saying a lot considering his draw power.

Despite updates from Ariel Helwani, the UFC remained relatively silent on the fight, leaving many fans in limbo (with some having already bought tickets) about whether or not he would fight.

The question now remains: Will it be worth the hassle to go through the saga all over again, knowing what the result was last time? The resolution remains to be revealed, but what is known is that the more people interested in McGregor’s return, the more keen they will be to discuss it and will likely be just as interested come fight night.

Nevertheless, MMAKO will keep you locked in regarding a new timetable for McGregor-Chandler if the fight happens.

What’s Coming Up?

June will eventually become July, but the MMA calendar is still hotter than ever with UFC Saudi Arabia, UFC 303, a trip to Denver for a ‘Fight Night’ card and UFC 304 in Manchester. The best part is that they all take place within six weeks.

Stay tuned for a regular edition next Monday to brighten your Monday, but until then, onward with a new (and holiday) week.

Stick with MMA Knockout for daily coverage of the UFC, MMA, WWE, and AEW.

Zain Bando


Zain Bando is a writer for MMA Knockout, part of the Sports Illustrated/Minute Media umbrella. He has covered combat sports since 2019 for notable outlets and FanSided MMA. He also co-hosts a podcast called "The MMA Outsiders," part of the Empty The Bench Podcast Network, which airs Tuesday nights at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT. A Chicago suburban native, Bando has been enthralled with MMA since 2006 and has been fortunate to attend some of the most high-profile events in the sport's history, both as a fan and media member, including UFC 264, Bellator 297 and Kayla Harrison's PFL MMA debut. He is excited to take the next step in his combat sports writing journey and looks forward to continuing his following of the fight game for years to come. Bando can be reached via email at or by social media @zainbando99