‘There Was Some Tears Shed,’ Michael Chandler Reacts To First TUF Defeat, Conor McGregor’s Wild Celebration

Check out the thrill and the agony from episode 8 from 'The Ultimate Fighter'.

Chandler Tuf Loss
(via ESPNMMA - YouTube)

Michael Chandler just missed a clean sweep on ‘The Ultimate Fighter 31’.  

Throughout seven fights, Chandler’s team stood perfect against Conor McGregor’s with all of their contestants winning their quarterfinal bouts. However, that would change in the last matchup when Team McGregor’s Rico DiSciullo ‘hulk smashed’ Team Chandler’s Hunter Azure by TKO in round 2.

Chandler Reflects On The Loss

More than accustomed to winning on the show, coach Chandler would describe the agony that came with his team’s first defeat.

“There was some tears shed by myself, Hunter, obviously, and our entire team,” Chandler said on ‘After TUF‘. “We created a really real team bond. All of my dudes loved each other. They wanted to see each other win. So, it was a tough one. It was tough to see Hunter, who I believe deserved to win. He did everything that was asked of him. But as you know, as I know, it’s a crazy sport. We fight in four ounce gloves and you get hit behind the ear and bad things happen.”

“We had some tougher fights throughout the season than Hunter’s first round of that fight. He was completely in the driver’s seat. It looked like Rico couldn’t do anything on the ground. Rico hit him with some elbows, obviously cut ’em open. But when it comes to the domination on the ground, damage on the ground, Hunter was just honestly beating him up pretty bad. So there was no indication whatsoever that round two was gonna any different than round one.”

But of course, things didn’t go according to Chandler’s plan as DiSciullo got the job done in the second round. 

“It really brings you back to the reality,” Chandler said. “Even with us being so used to the guys in red getting their hand raised, I thought we were about to do it again. But man, lo and behold, four-ounce gloves are very unforgiving. And Hunter went down and my hat’s off to him and my hat’s off to Rico for his performance and getting the job done.”

McGregor’s Celebration

DiSciullo’s stunning knockout wasn’t the only highlight of the episode. McGregor’s reaction to the finish was priceless as he ran and screamed around the Octagon to celebrate his team’s first victory and the dodging of a clean sweep. 

“Obviously he’s pumped up for his team,” Chandler said of McGregor’s post-fight delight. “I think as much as they tried to piece this thing up as if Conor didn’t care that much [about his team], Conor was there, he wanted to see his guys win, whether it was because he wanted to get a win or was because he was truly happy for Rico to get a win… it remains to be seen and we’ll never know, I guess.

“But, man, what a celebration. Then, the dude tried to fight my entire team, so it was a lot of fun.”

See how the rest of the world reacted to coach McGregor’s first win and celebration, courtesy of Rico DiSciullo:

Published on July 19, 2023 at 2:46 pm
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