Conor McGregor Will Return At UFC 303 Against Michael Chandler

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 03: (L-R) Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler face off during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter at UFC APEX on March 3, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The long-awaited MMA return of Conor McGregor already has a date. According to UFC President Dana White, “The Notorious” is already slated to headline UFC 303 opposite Michael Chandler. 

June 29th. Conor (McGregor) vs. (Michael) Chandler. Five rounds, 170 pounds.

Dana White announcing Conor McGregor’s return at UFC 303

McGregor last fought at UFC 264 in July 2021 and suffered a TKO loss to “Diamond” Dustin Poirier. Another thing is that the Irishman will fight in the welterweight division, only the third of his career. He debuted at 170 pounds against Nate Diaz in 2016 and fought Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 246.

Despite not fighting in the Octagon in almost three years, McGregor’s drawing power is still undeniable. He owns eight of the 10 highest-earning pay-per-view fights in UFC history, including the Khabib Nurmagomedov fight that earned 2.4 million buys.

That said, McGregor lost three of his last four fights, all in devastating fashion. Poirier TKOd him twice while “The Eagle” submitted McGregor in Round 4. 

Some MMA personalities like Matt Brown even thought fans wouldn’t see the former two-division champ again because he didn’t need the money. After all, he is already a billionaire with his business and movie gigs. During his layoff, he starred in the film Road House with Jake Gyllenhaal.

For Chandler, this is a chance of a lifetime money-wise. His biggest payday was reportedly $303,000 against Dan Hooker at UFC 257, but he could at least double that facing “Notorious.” Both fighters coached against each other in the Ultimate Fighter 31.

After White officially announced the fight, Chandler posted a “Thank You” thread on X (formerly Twitter). He was on the shelf for almost two years and also lost three of his last four.