Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler ‘very much in limbo’ as the UFC scrambles to ‘figure out a Plan B’

Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler 'very much in limbo' as the UFC scrambles to 'figure out a plan B'

The positivity that the UFC once had regarding Conor McGregor’s return to the Octagon is “nowhere to be found.”

During Wednesday’s edition of The MMA Hour, host Ariel Helwani once again expressed doubt over whether or not the Irishman’s “greatest comeback in combat sports history” would actually happen. The week prior, everything appeared to be all systems go with Helwani reporting “great positivity” that the fight between McGregor and fellow TUF coach would headline UFC 303 on June 29 as advertised.

Conor McGregor

That no longer appears to be the case as a series of reports recently claimed that the promotion was putting out another round of “feelers” to come up with a “Plan B” in the event McGregor vs. Chandler is axed.

Optimism is ‘Not Very High’ on Conor McGregor’s Return at UFC 303

“On Monday of last week, I would say optimism level was not very high,” Helwani said on his show. “There was some concern, there was some doubt, there were road blocks. I came on this show on Wednesday and said optimism was high. There was great positivity, all those words I used. It felt like we had dodged a bullet, it felt like we had turned a corner.

“On Tuesday, I reported that the UFC was sending out feelers, they were reaching out to fighters and managers to see who could possibly be available to either replace the fight — meaning two new fighters — or step in and replace one of the fighters involved to fight on this card. Obviously the fighter we’re talking about is Conor McGregor, because if not, why would Chandler be ready to go on a plane to Dublin?

“So I said that it seemed we were all good, and by Wednesday, no feelers were being thrown out, no one was talking about this, really. It seemed as though all systems were a go.

“Yesterday morning I started to hear — as I continued to check in because I know there’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of doubt, a lot of concern about this because it’s such a big fight and because no one involved are speaking about this publicly, Chandler did the one interview and I think that squashed some concern, but no one is really talking about this — and I found out, via multiple sources, that they are reaching out to people again.

“They are reaching out to managers, they are reaching out to fighters, as potential replacements, as a new fight, as backups, as someone stepping in for McGregor, or just as insurance. Just in case. All these things are in play.

“One step further, here we are, Wednesday, 1:15, the positivity that I talked about exactly one week ago today is nowhere to be found. I would say this fight is very much in limbo. I would say it’s hanging on and the UFC is working very, very hard right now to figure out a Plan B. The Plan B could be someone stepping in to fight Chandler, the Plan C could be a whole new fight.”

Conor McGregor

As it stands, neither McGregor, Chandler nor the UFC have offered any explanation for why the fight could be in jeopardy. However, a report from MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin did confirm with sources that the fight appears to be in doubt due to an issue with McGregor, the likeliest scenario being an injury.

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Conor McGregor