UFC 303: Early Look at the Betting Lines for Conor McGregor’s Improbable Return

UFC 303: Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler

With UFC 302 now in the rear-view mirror, all eyes will be on the upcoming International Fight Week pay-per-view card headlined by the long-awaited return of Conor McGregor. In the UFC 303 main event, McGregor will be taking on his opposing coach from season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter, Michael Chandler.

McGregor, 35, has not competed in nearly three full years after breaking his leg at UFC 264 in his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier. Chandler will also be returning from a lengthy layoff, last competing at UFC 281, also losing to Poirier.

UFC 303 Fight Card

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Considering UFC 303 is still several weeks away at the time of this publishing, the construction of its fight card could change by the time June 29 rolls around. As of June 3, 11 matchups are listed as a part of the event on ESPN that will be held in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, 12 fights are currently listed on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler will headline the event with former light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill taking the co-main event spot against rising contender Carlos Ulberg. All indications point to young Irish contender Ian Machado Garry — whom many compare to McGregor — opening the main card against British star Michael ‘Venom’ Page.

In total, nine of the 24 fighters expected to compete on the card will be ranked in the promotional rankings. The first fight of the night is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+ with the pay-per-view main card slated for 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

UFC 303 Betting Odds

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change. Odds according to DraftKings Sportsbook as of June 3.

 

Main Card (10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV)

Conor McGregor (-102) vs. Michael Chandler (-118)

Jamahal Hill (-120) vs. Carlos Ulberg (+100)

Mayra Bueno Silva (-218) vs. Macy Chiasson (+180)

Joe Pyfer (-205) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (+170)

Ian Machado Garry (-130) vs. Michael Page (+110)

Prelims (8 p.m. ET on ESPN+)

Cub Swanson (+130) vs. Andre Fili (-155)

Charles Jourdain (-205) vs. Jean Silva (+170)

Ricky Simón (-198) vs. Vinicius Oliveira (+164)

Andrei Arlovski (+225) vs Martin Buday (-278)

Early Prelims (6 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass)

Payton Talbott (-455) vs. Yanis Ghemmouri (+350)

Michelle Waterson-Gomez (+200) vs. Gillian Robertson (-278)

Rei Tsuruya (-395) vs. Carlos Hernandez (+310)

UFC 303 Main Event Early Prediction

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There are several factors within the UFC 303 main event that have to be looked into to make a proper prediction but at first glance, all the factors on paper favor Michael Chandler.

Though he will be three years older than McGregor at age 38, ‘The Notorious’ will be facing a steep uphill battle in his return, having been on the shelf for three years as he attempts to return to the cage well past his prime. The situation from which he is recovering — a fully broken leg — is also unfavorable, as both Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman have fought back from similar injuries but could never return to their form of old.

Skill for skill, McGregor should be the quicker striker, with Chandler having the clear edge in wrestling, though he has drifted away from using that skill in the UFC. That leg will just be a major issue. Even with the rumors of the former two-division champion using illegal substances in his recovery, everything points to the McGregor of old being a fixture of the past. Upon initial impression, Chandler should be around a -150 favorite.

About the Author

Jaren Kawada is a freelance sports writer from Indianapolis, Indiana by way of Honolulu, Hawaii with a strong passion for MMA and sports betting. Kawada has also written for Sportskeeda MMA, FanSided MMA, and BetSided as a combat sports analyst. Follow on X/Twitter at @jarenkawada1 or on Instagram at @kawadajaren.

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