Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler had an intense couple of days of filming The Ultimate Fighter according to Dana White.
Fans have been chomping at the bit to see the promotion’s 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter, scheduled to begin airing on Tuesday, May 30. The latest installment of the long-running reality series will feature a mix of veterans and newcomers to the sport as they all vie for a spot on the UFC roster. However, the spotlight will be squarely on former two-division champion Conor McGregor and high-octane lightweight ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler. The pair will coach opposite one another before they are expected to step inside the Octagon for their own highly anticipated clash.
Speaking with TheMACLife on YouTube ahead of the season premiere, UFC President Dana White spoke about the latest edition of the popular series and how they landed on McGregor vs. Chandler as the focal point.
“We were looking at two or three different options for coaches and it’s everything,” White said. “Even when we talk about fights, it’s all about timing and what’s going on and this actually ended up… We brought up Conor and reached out to him and the timing ended up being perfect and here we are. And Chandler, you know all the stuff that had just gone down with Chandler. Chandler called him out and when you think about that fight stylistically, it’s an awesome fight.”
Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler Shared a Few Intense Moments
Throughout the course of filming, reports revealed that Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler shared a few intense moments. One of those can be quickly glimpsed in the TUF 31 trailer which was released weeks back. Discussing the occasional flaring of tempers during filming, White confirmed that things got a little hairy on more than one occasion between the two heavy hitters.
“There were a few actually. That’s just one where there’s video footage of it, but there were a few days and it happens because the thing that makes The Ultimate Fighter so great is that it’s a pressure cooker,” White continued. “Not just for the athletes that are competing on the show, but also the coaches because there’s reputations on the line. You’re a coach and you want your guys to win and the coaches become very invested every season.
“All the guys will tell me, ‘I came into this thinking I’ll just go in there and do my thing, but I’m so into these kids and I like them so much.’ It’s part of one that makes the show so great. The camaraderie and the relationships that are built on that show. Not just between the fighters, but the coaches.”
With the series airing on ESPN’s flagship network for the very first time, Dana White expects big things for the series.
“The Ultimate Fighter every season does great things for the talent that are on there and obviously highlights the coaches and their fight. This is the first time it’s ever been on ESPN the network so we and ESPN are expecting big things.”
Dana White confirmed that he does not have a date locked down for McGregor vs. Chandler, but he is shooting for the end of this year.