Dana White admitted to accepting Conor McGregor’s requests for his teammates to be on The Ultimate Fighter Season 31.
McGregor was chosen to coach the newest season of TUF alongside Michael Chandler. Shortly after they began filming, the former two-division UFC champion was involved in controversy. Rumors began circulating about ‘The Notorious’ allegedly having several contestants removed from the TUF 31 cast so his teammates could get the opportunity.
Although McGregor denied the accusations, the UFC president confirmed that the rumors were true. During an interview with Pat McAfee, White had this to say about the situation:
“That just happened recently where Conor McGregor was going to coach this season of The Ultimate Fighter and he’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it, but I’m bringing two guys that I want to make it right onto the show.’ Then, of course, the f****** media [says], ‘Oh, that’s not fair, and what happened to those guys?’ Shut the f*** up. So we’ll take care of the guys that aren’t on it, and this is what Conor wants, we’ll give it to him.”
Nothing has been confirmed, but there is speculation that Lee Hammond was one of the fighters McGregor brought in. Hammond trains at SBG Ireland and has a close relationship with ‘The Notorious.’ The Irish undefeated prospect will compete in the TUF 31 lightweight division.
Dana White says the UFC is still figuring out details for Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler
As soon as Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler were announced as the TUF 31 coaches, the MMA community was buzzing about their future fight. The interest grew when Dana White recently revealed there was a physical altercation while filming.
During the same interview with Pat McAfee, the UFC president had this to say about the highly-anticipated matchup between McGregor and Chandler:
“We’re still working on that and figuring that out. There’s a lot of work to do on the Conor fight still. They’re going to fight — when, isn’t guaranteed. When, what weight class, what are these guys doing. Conor’s filming this season of The Ultimate Fighter with Chandler, but Conor’s still coming back from that shin break. There’s still a lot of questions and ifs, and we don’t have answers yet.”
Before focusing on McGregor vs. Chandler, the UFC has to finish producing TUF 31 and release the entire season. Episode one will be dropped on Tuesday, May 30, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN, and a new episode will air weekly. The bantamweight and lightweight divisions will have four prospects and four former UFC fighters looking to earn a contract in each weight class.
Bring on #TUF31 🔥
The new season premieres May 30th on ESPN & ESPN+!
[ 📷 IG: @TheNotoriousMMA ] pic.twitter.com/XZUibI93RJ
— The Ultimate Fighter (@UltimateFighter) February 22, 2023
Quotes provided by MMAFighting.