Michael Chandler reflected on his experience coaching against Conor McGregor on The Ultimate Fighter.
On Saturday, August 19, the UFC will hold a twelve-fight event inside the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. During the UFC 292 preliminary card, the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter will conclude with Kurt Holobaugh vs. Austin Hubbard in the lightweight division and Cody Gibson vs. Brad Katona at bantamweight.
Now that the season has been aired, Michael Chandler spent some time reflecting on his experience as a coach on TUF 31. During an appearance on DC & RC, Chandler had this to say about coaching against Conor McGregor:
“The great thing about Conor, and I will give him huge props here. He would go three, four days of trying to be my friend, trying to be buddy-buddy, trying to be like, ‘Hey, man, it’s all business. I’m the biggest guy in the sport. You’re on my show, but you’re a nice guy.’ Then all of a sudden he would flip the script.”
Chandler continued by detailing McGregor’s antics:
“Then one day he would go completely nuts on me, or he would go hit a little bit deep, a little deeper of a cut to really try and get under my skin. You never quite knew which Conor you would get. Monday, you might get one. Tuesday, you might get a different one. Wednesday might be a completely different guy.”
Michael Chandler discusses how his mentality while coaching TUF 31 changed throughout the season
Michael Chandler’s TUF team featured the UFC veterans, while Conor McGregor coached the prospects. Chandler dominated the entire season, leading to the tournament finals featuring four fighters from his team. Throughout the TUF 31 season, fans praised ‘Iron’ for committing to his team and helping them improve.
During the same appearance on DC & RC, Chandler discussed how his coaching mentality changed throughout TUF:
“The first thing was, just like you, I wanted to beat Conor [McGregor] in every single thing. I wanted to show up, be a better coach, be a better mentor, a better friend, beat him in the coaches’ challenge, be better at him than everything because the fight itself, the buildup, the leadup, the I am better than you, started the day that we got there.”
Chandler concluded by describing how his mindset changed:
“Then I got there and realized I just fell in love with these guys on my team, wanted to get them in the UFC, wanted to win so badly.”
The fight date for McGregor vs. Chandler was expected to be announced during TUF 31. Unfortunately, ‘The Notorious’ is working through issues with the USADA drug-testing agency. The former two-division UFC champion teased the possibility of fighting an opponent other than Chandler before confirming the highly-anticipated matchup is next.