Daniel Cormier: Michael Chandler should ‘move off’ Conor McGregor fight after UFC 303 scratch

Daniel Cormier thinks Michael Chandler needs to give up hope on fighting Conor McGregor after the UFC 303 main event was called off.

After a more than week of rumors and speculation, UFC CEO Dana White officially announced Thursday that McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) has sustained an injury that would prevent him from making his highly-anticipated return against Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) on the June 29 card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which serves as the cornerstone of International Fight Week.

If the fight is rescheduled, it will be more than three years since McGregor stepped foot in the octagon after suffering a broken leg in his UFC 269 trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier. For Chandler, it will be more than two years since he was submitted by Poirier at UFC 281.

Although many understood Chandler’s decision to wait to the point of UFC 303 to get a fight with McGregor, pushing his timeline back even further is increasingly risky, said UFC Hall of Famer and UFC color commentator Cormier.

“Michael Chandler still needs to fight,” Cormier said Friday on his YouTube channel. “Michael Chandler, it seems like he needs Conor McGregor, but I don’t know that does. When you talk to Mike, his goals have not changed. He still wants to be world champion. I don’t know that even if he wins, this fight moves him closer to being world champion.

“He’s got some things to weigh going forward because I don’t know that he should wait anymore. I think it’s time to move off of this, and I believe that the overwhelming sentiment is that (McGregor) is done. I thought Conor McGregor was going to come back because to me, Conor McGregor’s a fighter. I know skill-for-skill, the Conor McGregor of 2015 isn’t the same guy. But I thought that the star was still the same. I just don’t know that he wants to fight. Especially right now.”

White did not reveal the severity of McGregor’s injury during his announcement. MMA journalist Ariel Helwani has reported it’s not serious, and “The Notorious” could be ready to compete by August or September.

Even if a new date is set, there’s no guarantee McGregor makes it to the cage then. It’s what puts the 38-year-old Chandler is such a difficult predicament, and in Cormier’s opinion, the outlook is grim.

“They said this thing might get rescheduled for later in the year – hopefully,” Cormier said. “But I think most people are very skeptical that we will see Conor McGregor in 2024. And if we don’t, the more time that passes, the less likely that it is that he ever steps in the octagon again.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie