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Oh No, Conor McGregor's Return Is Allegedly Still In Jeopardy

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After blogging the relief of finding out that Conor McGregor/Michael Chandler was still a go for June 29th following a scare when the sold out press conference was cancelled on just a few hours notice, it pains me to blog the pessimism in the latest update on the fight via Ariel Helwani….

Latest on UFC 303:

Around this time last week, all the anxiety surrounding the UFC 303 main event seemed to start to dissipate. By Wednesday, no more feelers about replacements were being sent out. All systems seemed to be a go (again). Later in the week, Chandler did an interview with The Pivot about it being all good, and on Saturday UFC was promoting it again on the ABC fight night telecast. There was a scare about the fight being off and the scare appeared to be no more. 

But since this morning, mutiple sources are now saying feelers are being sent out again for June 29. For a replacement and/or new fight(s). In short, there seems to pessimism all over again regarding the status of the 303 main event. Actually even more pessimism - it seems - than on Monday last week after the presser was cancelled at the last minute. 

Is this insurance? Due diligence? Emergency replacement mode? Remains to be seen. It's all developing (again). But it doesn't appear as though we are out of the woods either way just yet. More to come, and hopefully a definitive answer one way or the other In short order.

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Not great! I know how much Dana White hates Ariel Helwani (and may hate that I'm even blogging this - sorry Dana!) but my gut says he probably wouldn't put out this lengthy update about Conor McGregor - who he has a great relationship with - without reeeaaally believing in it. 

Still, it is sort've an update without any details in that we have no idea what the hold up/obstacle here is. In my opinion, it sounds like an injury was sustained on Conor's end that may be forcing him to pull out of the fight….which is something he swore he'd never do/actively disparages fighters for. Maybe everyone around him is suggesting he rehab the injury first before his return and he's insistent on fighting through it, and it's still touch and go? I have no idea tho - it's pure speculation right now. I'm sure McGregor's biggest haters are saying it's due to his extracurricular activity outside of the cage or him holding the UFC hostage for more money (which Helwani has denied) - but again, it seems like nobody knows anything at this point. It's complete fan fiction. 

Hell, maybe it's all fine and dandy behind the scenes and we're making this out to be something bigger than it really is! The UFC has said nothing on the matter so maybe everything is TOTALLY fine right now and we're all dead wrong.

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(Okay fine that last one is just my hopes/dreams.)

As Ariel Helwani said, there's rumors that feelers were sent out to new fighters this morning to potentially even change the UFC 303 main event entirely, and some are claiming it'd be Pereira/Jiri 2, which would be pretty cool, but obviously nothing could replace a Conor McGregor fight in aura and scale. It'd be bruuutal after all this time to have to wait even longer to see McGregor/Chandler scrap as well. They could just be sending those feelers to be safe, however, with UFC 303 being the big International Fight Week card needing to deliver.

Oh, and obviously, if it's off, you gotta feel for Michael Chandler tremendously - but I'll wait for Dana or the UFC to make an official announcement before we start the grieving process on any of this. I've still got hope and say the fight is happening on June 29th!

18 days til the greatest comeback in sports history! Let's go!!!