UFC: Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler off, Alex Pereira vs Jiri Prochazka 2 at UFC 303

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UFC: Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler off, Alex Pereira vs Jiri Prochazka 2 at UFC 303

One of the UFC’s two or three biggest stars was scheduled to headline an upcoming event until it was announced that he will not compete because of an injury. Many fans were probably hoping for a fight with Israel Adesanya or Alexander Volkanovski. Adesanya and Volkanovski won’t fight, but one of the UFC’s top five pound-for-pound ranked fighters will.

Quick Take

  • Conor McGregor out of UFC 303
  • Alex Pereira vs Jiri Prochazka 2
  • New co-main event

Conor McGregor out of UFC 303

Last week the UFC and UFC president Dana White announced a new main event for UFC 303, Alex Pereira vs Jiri Prochazka 2. Former featherweight and lightweight champion — and arguably the UFC’s biggest star — Conor McGregor will not be able to fight at the end of this month because of an injury, according to White. “Conor McGregor is out of 303 vs Michael Chandler with an injury,” White said in a video posted on X/Twitter.

McGregor released a statement about the injury on X/Twitter. “I picked up an injury prior to the press conference that required more time to heal than was available to me. The decision to postpone the fight was not made lightly, but one made in consultation with my doctors, the UFC, and my team. My fans and opponent deserve me at my best for this fight and we will get there!”

New main and co-main event

The new UFC 303 main event is Alex Pereira vs Jiri Prochazka 2. UFC 303 will be on June 29 in Las Vegas. Odds were released for the new main event on all of the top UFC betting sites. Pereira is the slight betting favourite heading into this fight. Pereira has -175 odds to win the fight on BetRivers. Prochazka is the underdog by a slim margin. Prochazka has +138 odds to win the fight.

“Also, Jamahal Hill is out with a knee injury. So Carlos Ulberg who is 11-1 and has six first-round finishes, seven wins by knockout, two wins by submission, an 82% finish rate, and is on a six-fight win streak will now be taking on Anthony Smith. He has 21 first-round finishes, 19 wins by knockout, and 15 by submission. And ladies and gentlemen, that’s a 90% finish rate,” White said. Ulberg is the betting favourite by a big margin. He has -500 odds to win the fight. Smith is a +370 underdog at the moment. Hill vs Ulberg was the former co-main event. The new co-main event is Brian Ortega vs Diego Lopes. The odds are close for this fight. At -148, Lopes is the early betting favourite in this bout. Ortega has +118 odds to walk out of UFC 303 with a victory.

Pereira vs Prochazka 2

This will be the second time that Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka meet inside of the octagon with the light heavyweight title on the line. Pereira defeated Prochazka to win the belt at UFC 295 in November of 2023, a KO/TKO victory in the second round. Both men fought once at UFC 300 in April since then. And each of them won their fight by KO/TKO. Although Pereira finished his fight in the first round. Prochazka finished his fight in the second.

Pereira was the betting favourite in the first fight, with about the same odds as he has in this fight. Prochazka’s odds are about the same as the first fight also. Both fighters have knockout power. With McGregor out, Pereira vs Prochazka, on paper, is one of the best fights that the UFC could have picked to fill the main event. But neither fighter will have a full camp, so this fight might be tough to call.