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UFC superstar won’t fight in main event of Las Vegas card

Updated June 13, 2024 - 9:34 pm

The long-awaited return of UFC superstar Conor McGregor is once again on hold.

McGregor is injured and will not fight Michael Chandler in the main event of UFC 303 on June 29 at T-Mobile Arena, UFC president Dana White announced late Thursday on social media.

The sport’s biggest star had been expected to compete for the first time since July 2021, but his return will have to wait.

There is optimism the bout could be rescheduled for later this year, but speculation about whether McGregor will ever fight again becomes louder as his absence from the sport grows longer.

The 35-year-old former two-division champion has dealt with injuries, a foray into boxing and a starring role in the “Road House” remake. McGregor has fought just four times in the UFC since 2016 and has won just once in that span.

It wasn’t the only dramatic change to the card.

White also announced light heavyweight contender Jamahal Hill is out of the co-main event against Carlos Ulberg because of an injury. Ulberg will now fight Anthony Smith.

A light heavyweight title rematch between champion Alex Pereira and former champ Jiri Prochazka will now serve as the main event of the card, which is the culmination of the organization’s annual International Fight Week festivities. Pereira won the belt by knockout in November over Prochazka, who had previously vacated the title due to injury.

Featherweights Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes will also square off on the card in a bout announced Thursday and will serve as the co-main event.

Also on Thursday, White announced rising middleweight star Khamzat Chimaev is “violently ill” and will not be able to fight former champion Robert Whittaker in the main event of the UFC on ABC card in Saudi Arabia on June 22.

Ikram Aliskerov has been removed from his upcoming bout and will replace Chimaev against Whittaker.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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