Conor McGregor issues statement after UFC press conference with Michael Chandler is postponed

Eyebrows were raised among UFC fans when a press conference in Dublin to promote the June 29 match at UFC 303 in Las Vegas between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler was postponed on Monday.

The postponement immediately fueled speculation over McGregor’s availability for the fight after photos and videos of him out dancing with his fiancée and friends circulated on social media. Fans and media also noted that UFC CEO Dana White gave no indication that the press conference would be postponed when he spoke to reporters at Saturday’s UFC 302.

McGregor, 35, is scheduled to fight Chandler as a welterweight in a five-round, non-title bout after winning championships as a featherweight and lightweight. He has not appeared in a match since breaking his leg and losing by TKO to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in 2021.

The two-time champion later issued a statement on social media on Monday, but provided little explanation for the postponement other than implying it was UFC’s decision. The press conference was a ticketed event with fans and media traveling to Dublin to attend.

“In consultation with the UFC, today’s press conference was cancelled due to a series of obstacles outside of our control,” said McGregor’s statement. “I apologize to my Irish fans, and fans around the world, for the inconvenience and appreciate all your passion and support. I can’t wait to put on the greatest all-time show in the Octagon.”

Responding to the online speculation and conspiracy theories about the presser being postponed so abruptly, MMA insider Ariel Helwani reassured fans that nothing is amiss, despite appearances. However, the postponement disappointed many including Chandler, who wanted the opportunity to promote himself and the fight.

“The fight’s still on. As of right this minute, the fight’s still on,” Helwani said on his show, “The MMA Hour.” “I just want everyone to know there’s no sort of scandalous, salacious story at play here. The full story, hopefully, will come out in the future.”

“I can tell you right now with 100% certainty, confirmation that there is nothing salacious,” he added. “There is nothing scandalous. There is no failed drug test. There’s nothing of that sort. Things pop up. So let’s see how this story plays out.”

Since winning the UFC lightweight championship in 2016 over Eddie Alvarez, McGregor has fought only four times, going 1–3 in those matches. He was also stripped of his title due to inactivity and took nearly a year off from fighting before facing Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match.

White has said that UFC 303 is expected to produce live gate revenue over $20 million, according to ESPN. That would be the highest gate in UFC history.