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Ariel Helwani gives update on Conor McGregor's injury and when he could return after UFC 303 withdrawal

Ariel Helwani gives update on Conor McGregor's injury and when he could return after UFC 303 withdrawal

The new main event will be Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka for the light heavyweight title.

An update on Conor McGregor's injury has emerged after his scheduled fight with Michael Chandler was cancelled.

McGregor was just weeks away from making a much-anticipated return to the Octagon on June 29 when he suffered an injury.

As a result, the press conference that was due to be held at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, was postponed at short notice, with McGregor posting a statement addressing the situation.

Speculation as to whether the bout would go ahead has been rife in recent days but on Friday, UFC president Dana White confirmed that McGregor vs Chandler was cancelled.

White also announced that the new main event at UFC 303 will be Alex Pereira vs Jiri Prochazka for the light heavyweight title.

The good news is that McGregor vs Chandler will likely be rescheduled for later this year, according to Ariel Helwani, who mentions a potential date of August or September.

Helwani also provided a further insight into McGregor's injury after an incident "about a day or so" before the press conference.

"Conor McGregor suffered an injury, about a day or so before that scheduled press conference in Dublin," he said on X, formerly Twitter.

"That was early last week. And so that's why there wasn't a press conference. Now, the reason why they didn't want that to come out was because there was hope that the fight would still be on and that it would be all good and salvaged. And so you obviously don't want your opponent to know that you are hurt, understandable.

"Initially, there was obviously some anxiety over the injury. Then there was optimism, as I've reported all along, and they started to re-promote it, and Michael Chandler did an interview about it and all this stuff. But then at the beginning of this week, the pessimism started to creep in.

"Then, about 48 hours or so ago, the realisation was that this fight isn't going to happen. And so the UFC went into overdrive."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Speaking about discussions around the main event slot, Helwani added: "There were some other feelers sent out to the likes of Max Holloway. There was some talk of a replacement for McGregor. Not a lot of options as far as a brand new flight is concerned.

"Finally, around 24 hours ago, they really started to zero in on Prochazka and Pereira. Nothing was ever going to compare to a McGregor fight. Nothing will compare. Nothing can compare. But the UFC pulls another rabbit out of their hat and they get it done. Pereira Prohaska is new main event."

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Featured Image Credit: The MMA Hour/YouTube - Conor McGregor/Instagram

Topics: Ariel Helwani, Conor McGregor, Michael Chandler, UFC, MMA