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Conor McGregor reveals toe injury ruled him out of Michael Chandler fight at UFC 303

Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler's headline fight was meant to take place at UFC 303 later this month with McGregor set to make his return to the octagon for the first time in three years; McGregor had to withdraw due to an injury and has now explained what happened

Conor Mcgregor
Image: Conor Mcgregor is out of UFC 303 due to a toe injury

Conor McGregor has revealed an injured toe forced him out of the upcoming UFC 303 event on June 29, which he was scheduled to headline against Michael Chandler.

McGregor was meant to fight sixth-ranked lightweight contender Chandler, but the first indication that bout was in trouble was when his news conference on June 3 in Dublin was abruptly cancelled, with no immediate explanation provided.

The fight was called off last week, with UFC's light-heavyweight champion Alex Pereira drafted in to face top-ranked challenger Jiri Prochazka on the Las Vegas bill.

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McGregor insisted he had been "super ready" for his fight but an accident happened.

In a social media post, he said: "It is absolutely gut wrenching.

"We had a lapse in concentration and engaged in a training session without wearing the full protective gear and I hit the toe off the elbow and broke the toe clean. It needs a few weeks - that's it."

He added: "I couldn't justify to my team, or fans, that I make the walk hindered again. That walk has been seen. This next walk has got to be, and it will be, 100 per cent Conor McGregor.

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"The fans deserve it and we are getting close. A slight lapse in concentration and a nuisance of an injury was picked up. That's it. Take the lesson and move forward. I will get this back."

He maintains he will make a return to the octagon still, even if it doesn't come against Michael Chandler.

"I've got two fights left on my contract," he said. "I'm coming to shine. I got to just take my time.

"I'll be back. See you soon. See you at the top. Chandler or not."

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Losing McGregor, who has not competed inside the octagon in three years, marks a blow to the UFC. At 35, he is past his prime, but remains a strong attraction.

The UFC is at a crossroads, with stars such as McGregor, Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes either near the end of their careers or having already retired.

There is a group of younger fighters still building their fan bases that the UFC is counting on to lead the next generation.

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