UFC 303: Michael Chandler Relives Conor McGregor’s Withdrawal At ‘The Last Possible Moment’

Where was Chandler when the bad news broke out that he wasn't fighting McGregor next week?

Chandler Mcgregor Withdrawal
(via @thenotoriousmma, @mikechandlermma - Instagram)

Michael Chandler‘s patience for Conor McGregor continues to be tested.

It’s been 584 days since we last saw the former Bellator Champion in the Octagon, who still holds out hope for a legacy fight against UFC superstar McGregor. The two were scheduled to meet in a welterweight main event at UFC 303 on June 29th, but with just weeks away, “The Notorious” suffered an injury that took him out of the fight altogether.

When Chandler Got The Call That McGregor Was Out

While rumors of McGregor’s withdrawal spread like wildfire, Chandler went to work as usual, training at Kill Cliff FC until he heard otherwise. Unfortunately, the bad news ended up being true for “Iron” Mike as he recalls it couldn’t have come at a better (or worse) time for him as he was putting the finishing touches on what was a very long training camp.

“Got the rug pulled out from underneath me at the last possible moment,” Chandler said in an Instagram video. “I just got done with my last sparring session Thursday morning. Had been hearing rumblings since Monday, obviously, but really got the call about an hour after my last sparring session was completed, an hour after a celebration.

“Anybody who was trained for a fight, or anybody who has gone through a training camp for something, you go through a really hard block and then in order to peak, you get toward the very end to where you don’t go hard anymore, as to throw yourself into the fire and take a chance of injuries over training, bumps, bruises, cuts, all those different things. I had just gotten done with that— the happiest and healthiest and hardest to kill, most dangerous man I have ever been in my entire life in that moment to 30 minutes later, getting a phone call that all of that was for [nothing], or was it?”

“I Thrive In The No Guarantees”

With no new date or contract in hand for their rescheduled matchup, the bout between McGregor and Chandler is still up in the air as to when or if it will actually happen. Chandler has been asking for a fight with McGregor since his UFC debut in 2021 and while his wish looked to be granted from their season of “The Ultimate Fighter” last year, it still hasn’t happened for a multitude of reasons including McGregor’s acting debut in “Road House”.

Chandler could take another fight in the meantime but if he’s waited this long, what’s another few months? Despite this, there is “uncertainty” for Chandler when it comes to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of fighting McGregor – one that he hopes to get past.

“So, what do I do now? A little bit of uncertainty in my life,” Chandler said. When’s this fight gonna happen? What date would it be rebooked for? What venue? How bad is the injury? Reports have come out that it’s not that bad, just needs a little bit of a delay, but it’s still no guarantees. But I thrive in the no guarantees.”

Chandler Doesn’t Want Your Sympathy

Despite getting the plug pulled on the biggest fight of his life, Chandler holds his head up high, not losing faith that the McGregor matchup will eventually happen regardless of what other people may think.

“Don’t you dare disrespect me by feeling sorry for me,” Chandler continued. “Don’t you dare disrespect me by having any kind of sympathy. Be emboldened by my situation. Be emboldened by my steadfastness and my movability of hitching my dreams to a shooting star and continuing to move forward.

“If you’ve been on this journey with me for a long time, you know how I operate. You know where my mind, my mindset is, where my mental is and is nowhere near down in the dumps. I’m emboldened by this test and this test ain’t done yet, and this test shall turn into part of my testimony. So, we keep moving forward in the face of adversity with complete disregard to previous failures, previous setbacks, previous things outside of our control and future opposition.”

In classic Michael Chandler fashion, he’d end his inspirational message with the words… “See you at the top.”

Published on June 17, 2024 at 4:52 pm
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