Best UFC 303 Main Event Betting Picks: Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler

  • What: UFC 303 Main Event
  • Who: Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler
  • Date: Saturday, June 29, 2024
  • Location: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Time: Early Prelims (TBA), Prelims (8:00 p.m. ET), Pay-Per-View Card (10:00 p.m. ET)
  • How to Watch:  Early Prelims (ESPN+) Prelims (TBA), Main Card (ESPN+ PPV)

The long-anticipated return of Conor McGregor to the UFC comes at UFC 303, when the former two-division UFC champion faces Michael Chandler in the main event of that ESPN+ streaming pay-per-view card. McGregor has not fought since breaking his leg in a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021. McGregor vs. Chandler will be contested at welterweight. Here is some background on the fighters before we discuss the betting breakdown of the UFC 303 main event: McGregor vs. Chandler.

Conor McGregor (22-6) once held the UFC featherweight and lightweight titles. He opened his MMA career with a 19-2 record and went 7-0 in the UFC before losing to Nate Diaz in March 2016. Since his loss to Diaz, McGregor has a 3-3 record, losing once to then-UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (submission). He is coming off back-to-back losses to Dustin Poirier, both via TKO. McGregor’s most recent win was a January 2020 TKO victory over Donald Cerrone at 170 pounds.

Michael Chandler (23-8) is a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion. Chandler was 21-5 when he joined the UFC in January 2021. His record with the promotion is 2-3. He is coming off a November 2022 submission loss to Poirier at UFC 281.

Before we look at the best bets for the McGregor vs. Chandler matchup on the UFC 303 PPV card,  check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.

UFC 303 main event: Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler betting picks

To Win UFC 303 Main EventBetOnline ReviewBovadaBetUS ReviewMyBookie Review
Conor McGregor-110-105-115-109
Michael Chandler-110-115-115-117

UFC 303: Conor McGregor betting breakdown

One thing to note about this fight right away is that Conor McGregor is taller than Michael Chandler (one inch) and has a longer reach (three inches). McGregor has historically done well with fighters who fit the mold of Michael Chandler, think Chad Mendes, who McGregor knocked out in the second round at UFC 189 in 2015. McGregor has always been excellent in gauging distance against fighters who are smaller than him. That allows him to fight at distance, land kicks, and tag opponents with his powerful left hand. However, that power has seemed less prominent since McGregor has moved up from 145 pounds.

Another thing McGregor does well is play mind games. I expect the former champ will be relaxed and confident at UFC 303, while Chandler might be overeager. If Chandler loads up on all his strikes early, looking for a big knockout, McGregor will be able to read the body language of his foe and counter with speed and precision.

As for the broken leg, McGregor is a proud fighter, and I don’t think he would return to the Octagon if he wasn’t sure his body could handle it. With that being said, McGregor has never had a deep gas tank. He has only gone to decision twice in his career. The former champ does his best work inside the first two rounds. Don’t expect that to change with this fight taking place at 170 pounds.

Conor McGregorTO BEAT MICHAEL CHANDLER
★★★★★
-110
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UFC 303: Michael Chandler  betting breakdown

Michael Chandler has a wrestling background, and if he can overcome McGregor’s distance management, he could have success on the mat against the former UFC champ. Chandler averages 2.17 takedowns per 15 minutes of UFC action, but his takedown success rate is only 38 percent, meaning he strings attempts together until he sticks the takedown. Chandler also has seven submission wins, which bodes well for him because McGregor’s defensive grappling has always been a weak spot for him, and that only gets worse when McGregor gets tired. Of his six career losses, McGregor has been submitted four times.

Chandler has not used his wrestling as much as he could while fighting in the UFC. Instead, he’s opted to employ a more fan-friendly style. If Chandler brings back that wrestling, but also fights at the pace he is known to put out, he could pick up the win here, and a win over McGregor will open a lot of doors for Chandler. Chandler and his team are smart enough to know where they have the pronounced advantage over McGregor, and they need to use that advantage, even if it sours some fans on the fight.

The key for Chandler is to remain calm and focused on the win. He can’t fight McGregor at distance, and he can’t go into the bout looking for a knockout. He must wrestle and tax McGregor’s cardio, which could be even worse than usual since the fight is at 170.

Michael Chandler TO BEAT CONOR McGREGOR
★★★★★
-115
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Best Bets: UFC 303 Main Event – Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler

A win for Michael Chandler at UFC 303 means more than a victory for Conor McGregor. McGregor has made his money and established his legacy. Chandler has not done that, but getting his hand raised at UFC 303 against McGregor will give Chandler a lot of opportunities that he hasn’t had. This fight is more important for Chandler, and that’s why I believe he will look for the win more than he will look to entertain the fans. The betting pick is Michael Chandler to beat Conor McGregor by submission at UFC 303, but there is also betting value in picking Chandler with a late knockout win. Either way, the stoppage comes in the second half of the fight.

Michael Chandler TO BEAT CONOR McGREGOR
★★★★★
-115
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Trent Reinsmith

Trent is a professional sports journalist specializing in UFC, MMA, and esports coverage. His work has been featured in prestigious publications such as USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively. Trent's connection to MMA dates back to the early days when he and his friends pooled their resources to purchase the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 1. He also has extensive experience in esports, particularly League of Legends and Counter Strike, dating back to the game's launch.