Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler Odds: UFC 303 Picks and Predictions (June 29)

Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler Odds: UFC 303 Picks and Predictions (June 29) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Conor McGregor pushes Michael Chandler during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter in 2023

UFC 303 Odds for Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler 

McGregor Odds
Chandler Odds
1.5 (-135 / +105)
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
Saturday, June 29
How to Watch
Odds as of May 6 and via DraftKings. Bet on McGregor vs. Chandler with our DraftKings promo code

Check out the UFC 303 odds for the recently announced Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler fight

The biggest headline coming out of the recent UFC 300 blockbuster last month had nothing to do with the fights that night. That's because the promotion announced they've finally set a date for the return of its biggest star: Conor McGregor.

McGregor and UFC 303 opponent Michael Chandler were head coaches on Season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter. However, it will be nearly a year since the show's conclusion by the time McGregor and Chandler finally step into the octagon in the UFC 303 main event on June 28 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Chandler's total layoff will be 18 months while McGregor is approaching three years of inactivity. That's because of a nasty leg break he suffered at the end of the first round in his rubber match against Dustin Poirier, leading to a brief "retirement" for the former double champ.

Also of note, the fight booking marks the end of the heavily contested weight-class debate. Both men most recently fought as 155-pound lightweights while McGregor infamously informed Chandler their fight would be in the 185-pound middleweight division:

Much like the other declarations from McGregor in that video – "By the time that show finishes we'll have a date" in particular aged poorly – "Notorious" wasn't exactly accurate. This fight is (for now) booked at 170 pounds (welterweight), where McGregor has previously fought against Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone.

Both men are/were massive lightweights – in McGregor's case at least since exiting the drug testing pool following his leg injury – so I expect they'll be fairly similar in size as they would at 155, just with a lighter weight cut.

McGregor vs Chandler Fight Analysis

Before signing with the UFC in 2021, Chandler was the on-again, off-again Bellator lightweight champion, holding the title for three separate stints from 2011 to 2018.

However, UFC fans probably know him most for his power; he's won both of his UFC wins via highlight-reel knockouts.

However, Chandler is an extremely well-rounded mixed martial artist. He's a former Division I All-American wrestler from Mizzou with a black belt in 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. Those skills should serve him well against McGregor, who – even at his best – was a fairly one-dimensional puncher.

McGregor's new physique will likely aid his power, but I don't see it helping his grappling. Or his cardio, which has been a notorious (pun intended) problem for the explosive Irishman.

There's also plenty of justifiable concerns over McGregor's dedication to the sport at this point, given his hard-partying lifestyle and frequent appearance in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

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Chandler vs. McGregor Pick

It's been nearly eight years since Conor McGregor beat anyone other than a completely washed Donald Cerrone, yet hope springs eternal – at least in the eyes of the public.

Oddsmakers have had this fight available since well before it was made official, with the prevailing line holding McGregor as a slight favorite. Since becoming official at UFC 300, money has started to trickle in on Chandler, but he can still be had at around even money at some shops.

I'm fairly confident this line is heavily based on the star power of McGregor; Chandler should be a far heavier favorite here. Oddsmakers correctly assume that casual fans will want to bet McGregor irrespective of his price – so why offer plus money?

So, that makes taking an early bet on Chandler the smart move here. Cooler heads will eventually prevail in the markets, leading to Chandler closing at shorter odds. At the time of this writing in late April, DraftKings is offering the best odds (-102), though Chandler can still be found in the neighborhood of -105 to -115 across the industry.

While we need to weigh the likely CLV against the cost of tying up your money for two months, the calculus checks out for me. Odds are we'll have plenty of arbitrage opportunities between now and fight day, creating an opportunity to lock in a profit.

Still, I'll believe this fight is really happening when I hear Bruce Buffer making his announcements, so keep it small. We don't want to be giving interest-free loans to sportsbooks with our money tied up.

Besides, I expect we'll be able to find some live-betting opportunities on "Iron Mike" even if the prefight line falls out on us by June.

The Pick: Michael Chandler (-102 at DraftKings)

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