Conor McGregor Injured; UFC 303 Restructured With Pereira-Prochazka 2 Headliner

June 14, 2024
Any fight fan that purchased tickets to this Ultimate Fighting Championship show can receive a full refund if requested.

News of the cancelation of UFC 303’s main event—and co-headlining match as well—was announced by the UFC on Thursday, stating that Conor McGregor suffered an injury and his match with Michael Chandler has been canceled. Additionally, Jamahal Hill suffered an injury and was forced out of his second-to-last pairing against Carlos Ulberg. Due to these changes, the promotion has booked three fights on about two weeks’ notice for this blockbuster event. The new main attraction for this June 29 card will be Alex Pereira (10-2) defending his 205-pound strap against Jiri Prochazka (30-4-1) atop the billing at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Pereira, who suffered multiple broken toes during his UFC 300 encounter against Hill, was able to be cleared for a quick turnaround. “Poatan” put his belt on the line against Hill in April, and he trounced Hill in the first round with a barrage of punches. This put him on a three-fight win streak that dates back to his debut at 205 pounds. In two fights in his new division, Pereira beat former champ Jan Blachowicz and then claimed the throne from Prochazka at UFC 295.

Since losing his title to Pereira, Prochazka rebounded at UFC 300 by pummeling Aleksandar Rakic. Before his loss, the Czech fighter had strung together 13 straight wins, including finishes in the UFC that earned him the light heavyweight crown. In that stretch, “BJP” earned stoppages in 12 outings, and he currently celebrates a finish rate of 97%.

The newly created co-main fight will come at 145 pounds, as Brian Ortega (16-3, 1 NC) and Diego Lopes (24-6) collide on short notice. Neither man was scheduled for the event, but the featherweights elected to step up and face one another to put another banner fight on the card. With Hill-Ulberg off the table, Ortega vs. Lopes slots in the No. 2 spot.

California’s Ortega put his first losing streak behind him in February when he tapped Yair Rodriguez with an arm-triangle choke, avenging an injury TKO loss suffered to “El Pantera” in 2022. Before facing Rodriguez in back-to-back bouts, “T-City” battled champ Alexander Volkanovski and came up short despite two instances during their 25-minute battle where Ortega had the Aussie in danger. Since COVID-19, Ortega has competed just four times, with his other performance being a win over Chan Sung Jung in late 2020.

Lopes introduced himself to the roster in May 2023, where he faced undefeated Russian grappler Movsar Evloev on short notice and pushed him to the limit. While Lopes came up short on the scorecards, he put himself on the map with his gritty display of skills. The Brazilian bounced back with three first-round finishes of Gavin Tucker, Pat Sabatini, and most recently, Sodiq Yusuff. In those three wins, the Lobo Gym MMA product has never needed more than 98 seconds to get the job done.

Finally, with Hill out of the picture, Ulberg (10-1) was without a dance partner. Former title challenger Anthony Smith (38-19) has elected to serve as the replacement, keeping the heavy-handed Kiwi on the card. While “Lionheart” has struggled in his last five fights, winning two, he reminded the division that he was still a threat by strangling Vitor Petrino with a two-minute guillotine choke in May. As a pro, the longtime veteran has finished his opponent in 92% of his wins.

Ulberg competed at UFC on ESPN 56, where he punched out Alonzo Menifield in 12 seconds to snag the replacement opportunity to face Hill. Initially, Hill was booked against Khalil Rountree, but Rountree disclosed he had consumed a banned substance and was issued a temporary suspension. Ulberg comes into this top contender matchup winner of his last six, including finishes in the last five. Six of his 10 pro wins have come in the first round, with four coming in the Octagon.

The newly rebuilt UFC 300 will remain at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on June 29. According to NAC 467.255, any person that wishes to refund their ticket must be issued a full refund as the main event of the show changed. The new main fight sees Alex Pereira put his 205-pound strap on the line against former titleholder Jiri Prochazka. The co-main event comes at featherweights as Brian Ortega throws down with Diego Lopes. Round out the main card is a light heavyweight contest of Anthony Smith vs. Carlos Ulberg, a matchup between Mayra Bueno Silva and Macy Chiasson at 135 pounds and a welterweight scrap as Ian Garry faces Michael Page.


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