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Dana White Won’t Discuss Conor McGregor Return Until 'He’s Healed and He’s Right'



Things definitely haven’t gone as planned for the Ultimate Fighting Championship in June.

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The biggest setback for the promotion occurred last week, when Conor McGregor officially withdrew from his headlining clash against Michael Chandler at UFC 303 due to injury. The former two-division champ is the UFC’s biggest star, but he hasn’t competed for nearly three years since breaking his leg in July 2021. While McGregor vowed to be back soon in a statement released on social media, the exact nature of his injury — as well as a timeline for his recovery — is unclear.

After a hectic couple of weeks, UFC CEO Dana White won’t speculate on when McGregor might be ready to return to action.

“It’s the business, man. This is the way it goes,” White told the Sports Business Journal. “And from here on I’m not going to talk about it until when he’s healed and he’s right. Then we’ll look at the landscape and see what we can figure out.”

The promotion was able to pivot quickly after McGregor’s withdrawal, scheduling a light heavyweight championship rematch between Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka on short notice for the new UFC 303 main event. A featherweight clash pitting Brian Ortega against Diego Lopes was also added to the card.

Meanwhile, the UFC’s debut event in Saudi Arabi also lost one-half of its featured attraction last week when Khamzat Chimaev withdrew from a proposed middleweight clash against Robert Whittaker due to severe illness. Once again, the UFC was able to salvage the headliner by booking Ikram Aliskerov against Whittaker on Saturday.

All things considered, White is happy with the way things turned out under adverse circumstances.

“It’s been interesting because we had to switch the Saudi main event, which is next weekend, you know what I mean?” White said. “It’s f—-ing days away, so for us to put in this guy [Ikram Aliskerov] who is 15-1, he’s Muslim and his only loss is to Khamzat Chimaev, and everyone in the division said no to fighting him except Robert Whittaker [is a good result]. … I’m very happy [with the quality of the replacement fights].”
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