TUF 31: McGregor and Chandler's Epic Showdown!


| LAST UPDATE 06/01/2023

By Bernadette Forster
Conor McGregor UFC recap
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The Ultimate Fighter is back, and it's bigger and better than ever. This season, UFC superstars Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler are the coaches, leading two teams of hopefuls on a 10-week journey to stardom.

McGregor might be a veteran of the show, but this is Chandler's first time donning the TUF jersey. And while the drama between the coaches was subdued on the season premiere, the excitement was palpable as the fighters were assigned to their respective teams. This season, the cast features eight lightweights and eight bantamweights, divided into two groups: prospects and veterans. In a break from tradition, McGregor and Chandler were asked to pick their teams by grouping rather than drafting one-by-one. In the first round of picks, McGregor chose four lightweight prospects, including Lee Hammond and Nate Jennerman. Chandler, in turn, got the four lightweight veterans, including Kurt Holobaugh and Austin Hubbard. When Chandler had his turn to pick between bantamweight prospects or veterans, he went with the latter, creating a clear divide between the remaining bantamweights on McGregor's team of prospects.

Conor McGregor Michael Chandler
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The fighters then worked out for the coaches to determine their tournament seeds, which would determine the season's opening round matchups. Chandler appeared to prefer a more traditional training session, while McGregor leaned towards having his fighters spar. In the opening fight of the season, one-time LFA title challenger Nate Jennerman went up against 2018 Contender Series signing Roosevelt Roberts. Unfortunately for Jennerman, he was caught early by a pair of precision right hands, ending the fight in under 10 seconds.

Roberts advanced to the semifinals, impressing UFC President Dana White with his performance. "The Predator" went 4-3 in his first stint in the UFC before being released in 2021. Next week's episode promises to be another exciting match-up, as Team McGregor's Trevor Wells fights Team Chandler's Timur Valiev in a bantamweight bout. After the season finale, McGregor and Chandler are set to face off in a welterweight bout, with the finalists of the TUF 31 lightweight and bantamweight tournaments competing for a six-figure UFC contract at the show's live finale. The dates for both events are yet to be announced, so keep your eyes peeled for more updates!

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