Ariel Helwani shuts down rumors about McGregor vs Chandler press conference delay

Hunter Haas
Ariel Helwani told fans everything he knew about the UFC abruptly postponing McGregor vs Chandler presser

Conor McGregor will return to the octagon against Michael Chandler at UFC 303, but the two were first supposed to meet for a press conference on June 3.

However, UFC postponed that pre-fight press conference, in front of a live audience in Dublin, Ireland, only 12 hours before its scheduled start time.

Questions immediately surfaced following UFC’s official statement regarding the last-minute change of plans. It read:

While neither the UFC nor McGregor gave further details on the postponement, Ariel Helwani shared what he knew with fans on the MMA Hour podcast.

“Late Sunday morning, I got word that the [McGregor vs Chandler] press conference, which was scheduled for June 3 at Noon ET, was in jeopardy,” Helwani revealed.

“Lo and behold, I saw that UFC put out on all its social media channels that the press conference had been postponed.

“And as of right this moment, it is unclear to everyone involved if there is going to be a press conference in Dublin leading up to the next McGregor fight.”

Then, the long-time MMA insider shut down rumors about any “salacious” activity being behind the postponement.

“I can tell you right now with 100% certainty that nothing, with regards to any sort of legal issue, incident of any kind, criminal thing of any kind — none of that is at play.

“There’s nothing regarding any sort of drug testing or anti-doping. I just want everyone to know that there is no scandalous, salacious story at play here.”

Helwani said he understands why the questions are out there, especially after videos surfaced of McGregor allegedly partying during the week leading up UFC 302.

“There’s the videos of him [McGregor] having a good time, and I know Dana White addressed some of those videos.

“My impression is, we are going to find out if that’s a thing. Everyone that I’ve talked to is saying that he’s dialed in, ready, and revved to go.

“But ultimately, the truth comes out in the performance and the fight. We hope the performance and fight happen on June 29, and we see the way the cookie crumbles.”

McGregor, who hasn’t fought in the UFC in nearly three years, has been busy recovering from a broken leg suffered against Dustin Poirier in 2021.

Chandler has been on the shelf for two years himself, with his last match also coming in defeat against Poirier — this time at UFC 281.

According to Helwani, the highly anticipated main event is still on for June 29 at UFC 303.

As Helwani was still on the air, McGregor sent out a message to fans via his official X account. In it, he explained why the press conference was canned.

”In consultation with the UFC, today’s press conference was cancelled due to a series of obstacles outside of our control. I apologize to my Irish fans, and fans around the world, for the inconvenience.

”And I appreciate all your passion and support. I can’t wait to put on the greatest all-time show in the octagon.”

McGregor used the word “cancelled” in his post when describing the press conference, but UFC hasn’t announced whether or not it would be rescheduled for a later date.