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Conor’s long-awaited octagon return at UFC 303 is locked in


Conor McGregor, michael chandler, ufc 303

The wait is almost over for UFC fans and Conor McGregor supporters alike – the ‘Notorious’ is close to making his long-awaited return to the octagon. When is Conor McGregor’s next fight? Let’s find out…

We haven’t seen the former featherweight and lightweight champion in a fighting context since June 2021, as he dealt with a broken tibia sustained against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. Now, it appears the fans’ lengthy wait for the former champion’s return to the UFC will soon be over.

For over 12 months, McGregor’s return to the UFC has been teased on his own Netflix docu-series and through his coaching role on ESPN’s The Ultimate Fighter. Understandably, hype built for months, with the expectation the Irishman would return to the octagon at UFC 300.

However, that bout never eventuated, leaving combat sports fans the world over bitterly disappointed. While McGregor’s UFC return won’t happen at the UFC’s next showpiece event, it’s not exactly a pipe dream. In recent days, the man himself confirmed he and Chandler’s fight is going ahead, just at a later date.

So here’s everything we know so far about Conor Mcgregor’s looming UFC return.

Conor McGregor’s next fight details

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Who’s McGregor’s next opponent?

Michael Chandler

McGregor will be welcomed back into the octagon with a fight against multi-time Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler (23-8).

Last year, the pair were opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter season 31, which came out in May 2023, just before the ‘McGregor Forever’ docu-series.

In each season of The Ultimate Fighter, the tension between the two coaches builds to a fight of their own at the end. So fans have been eagerly waiting to witness a fight between these two on a UFC card ever since.

Well, now they’ve got the confirmation they desire.

The Ultimate Fighter, Conor McGregor, Michael Chandler, sporting documentaries
Clear your calendar! Conor McGregor v Michael Chandler, UFC 303, June 29 2024. It’s going down.

Speaking on the press tour for his upcoming film ‘Road House’, where McGregor starred alongside Hollywood A-lister, Jake Gyllenhaal, the Irishman confirmed his UFC return will occur this June at UFC 303.

Speaking to GQ Sports, McGregor confirmed he was in talks to return to the Octagon on June 29, the date slated for UFC 303.

“It’s time for me to get my competitive game going again,” he said.

Additional reports from ESPN revealed that McGregor’s camp ‘got confirmation a few days ago that it’s all systems go.’

What does this mean? It means he’s back in the Octagon.

When and where is Conor McGregor’s next fight?

Las Vegas, June 29th 2024, T-Mobile Las Vegas Nevada

Finally, a date and location have been announced for Conor McGregor’s next fight. However, these weren’t exclusively revealed on the Road House press tour.

At the beginning of the year, yielding a glass of red wine in his right hand, McGregor unveiled the exact details of his next fight, months before they seemingly received the official greenlight.

“Ladies and gentlemen, a Happy New Year to you all. I would like to announce the return date for myself,” McGregor said.

“The Notorious Conor McGregor, for the greatest comeback of all time, will take place in Las Vegas for International Fight Week on June 29th. The opponent, Michael Chandler. The weight, Mr Chandler, 185 pounds.”

Fighting at 185 pounds would be the heaviest McGregor has ever fought at, marking his first appearance in the welterweight division. It’s an interesting proposal from McGregor given Michael Chandler has only ever fought in the lightweight division since joining the UFC in 2021.

However, weight doesn’t seem to affect Chandler who also took to social media to respond to Conor McGregor’s fight announcement.

“I always said I wanted you at your biggest, your baddest and your best. 185 would look good on me,” Chandler tweeted.

Since McGregor last fought, he’s bulked up quite a bit which caused USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) to request that he undergo six months of drug testing before he steps into the octagon.

It was confirmed in October 2023 that McGregor had re-entered the testing pool, meaning he was unable to fight professionally until he had returned two negative tests and been in the pool for that required six-month period.

But what makes this even more interesting is that from January 1 2024, the UFC is no longer involved with USADA, which creates a new grey area for the sport.

Although Conor McGregor has announced nearly every detail we all want to know for his next fight, it’s important to acknowledge that the UFC has made no comment confirming or denying the details.

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor is set to return to the UFC on June 29 against Michael Chandler

Conor McGregor’s last fight

Come June 29, it will be nearly two years since McGregor last fought in the UFC against American Dustin Poirier. The fight, won by Poirier via a TKO following a horrific McGregor leg break, was the Irishman’s second consecutive loss to Poirier.

It was the third iteration in the series of fights between Poirier and McGrgeor and the second in 2021 alone.

McGregor wasn’t too humble in defeat though, famously sitting up against the cage being interviewed by Joe Rogan, and taking aim at anyone who took his attention including Poirier’s partner.

The broken tibia and fibula that the Irishman suffered in the bout were so worrying for him that in his Netflix docu-series ‘McGregor Forever’, he admitted that he thought his career could be gone.

Check us out on socials, @onlysportsanz: Instagram | Twitter | Tik Tok

Conor McGregor’s UFC record

22 wins, 6 losses

He may not have the best record ever seen in the UFC, but there’s no doubt that McGregor will be remembered as fondly as any who have stepped into the octagon.

The Irishman currently holds a 22-6 record; impressive, but hurt by his latest form, losing four of his past seven fights. That’s dragged his winning percentage down from 90% to 79%.

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