Ariel Helwani offers another grim update on Conor McGregor’s UFC 303 return: ‘They need a replacement’

Ariel Helwani offers another grim update on Conor McGregor's UFC 303 return: 'They need a replacement'

It’s looking more and more like Conor McGregor will not be returning to the Octagon this month.

After more than a year of rumors and reports, we appeared to finally be closing in on the Irishman’s “greatest comeback in combat sports history.” Then suddenly, it all seemingly fell apart. At this point, neither the UFC nor McGregor have offered any insight into the situation, leaving much of the reporting to Ariel Helwani.

Last week, Helwani said that there was “great positivity” that the fight would go down as scheduled on June 29. In the week since there’s been a complete 180° turn with the cancelation becoming more and more likely.

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Ariel Helwani on Conor McGregor

“UFC is not intentionally trying to drag out this 303 saga,” Helwani wrote on X. “They are burning the midnight oil trying to find a replacement solution. The issue is there aren’t a ton of options available right now. If there was they would have announced it all already and moved on.”

When one fan asked the MMA Hour host for clarification on the status of the fight, Helwani added that while the bout is not “100% off,” all signs currently point to someone not named Conor McGregor headlining on June 29.

Ariel Helwani on Conor McGregor

“It’s not 100% off but I’d be extremely surprised at this point if it remains and they are actively negotiating with multiple camps to find a replacement,” he added. “It’s all up in the air still but they are proceeding at this time like they need a replacement.”

Ariel Helwani Offers Additional Insight into the Conor McGregor Drama

Helwani continued to field questions from fans on X, revealing that the cancelation of McGregor vs. Chandler is a “formality at this point” and that the promotion would not cancel the event like it did when Dan Henderson pulled out of his UFC 151 fight with Jon Jones back in 2012.

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He also offered some insight into whether or not fans who have already purchased tickets will be eligible for a refund.

Ariel Helwani on Conor McGregor
Ariel Helwani on Conor McGregor
Ariel Helwani on Conor McGregor
Ariel Helwani on Conor McGregor