Desperate to replace Conor McGregor at UFC 303, the promotion sent ‘Feelers’ to Max Holloway and Dricus Du Plessis

Desperate to replace Conor McGregor at UFC 303, the promotion sent out 'feelers' to Max Holloway and Dricus Du Plessis

Before opting to completely scrap Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler from UFC 303, the promotion scrambled to find a replacement opponent for the former Bellator champion.

On Thursday, UFC CEO Dana White announced that McGregor was officially out of the long-awaited clash after suffering an injury, presumably while training. As a result, fans inside T-Mobile Arena and those watching around the world will instead see light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira put his title on the line against Jiri Prochazka in a rematch of their November 2023 showdown.

Alex Pereira

Offering a timeline of the events that ultimately led to McGregor’s withdrawal, The MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani revealed that the promotion had sent out some “feelers” in hopes of finding Chandler a suitable replacement. Among the names was none other than the promotion’s newly minted BMF titleholder, Max Holloway.

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‘Blessed’ claimed the bragging rights belt with an insane buzzer-beating knockout of Justin Gaethje and UFC 300 in April.

Max Holloway

Holloway wasn’t the only fighter the UFC considered to replace Conor McGregor

Helwani went on to reveal that Dricus Du Plessis, the current UFC middleweight titleholder, was also discussed as a potential opponent for ‘Iron.’ Clearly, none of those panned out, but Helwani did make it clear that neither Holloway nor ‘Stillknocks’ made it very far into negotiations.

As it stands, the UFC has not revealed a new date for McGregor’s scrap with Chandler, though Helwani also reported that the promotion is looking to reschedule the fight for August or September.

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Helwani on Conor McGregor vs. Chandler

In addition to the shift in the main event, UFC 303 also received a new co-headliner as Brian Ortega is set to take on Diego Lopes in the penultimate bout.

Also added to the card was a fight between Carlos Ulberg and Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith. Originally, Ulberg was set to square off with Jamahal Hill, but ‘Sweet Dream’ exited the contest due to a knee injury.

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