The Ultimate Fighter 31: McGregor vs. Chandler got started off with the fasted KO in TUF history.
Fans have been waiting for the return of Conor McGregor for almost two years. The MMA superstar has been out of competition dealing with a leg injury sustained in his last bout. Now he is back in the limelight as a coach on the newest season of The Ultimate Fighter across from Michael Chandler. When these two were first announced as coaches, many people thought there would be fireworks and although things have started calmly, it seems to be heating up.
The first episode aired on Tuesday night on ESPN. McGregor and Chandler showed up to The Ultimate Fighter gym and teams were quickly chosen. This season the premise is UFC veterans vs. newcomers. McGregor chose first and took the 155-pound newcomers. That gave Chandler the 155-pound vets, Chandler then took the 135-pound vets and completed the vets vs. rookie teams. Here is a list of who made it on each team.
- Lee Hammond – lightweight
- Nate Jennerman – lightweight
- Aaron McKenzie – lightweight
- Landon Quinones – lightweight
- Rico DiSciullo – bantamweight
- Mando Gutierrez – bantamweight
- Carlos Vera – bantamweight
- Trevor Wells – bantamweight
- Kurt Holobaugh – lightweight
- Austin Hubbard – lightweight
- Jason Knight – lightweight
- Roosevelt Roberts – lightweight
- Hunter Azure – bantamweight
- Cody Gibson – bantamweight
- Brad Katona – bantamweight
- Timur Valiev – bantamweight
The Ultimate Fighter 31: McGregor vs. Chandler saw the fasted KO ever in TUF history
The fighters chose rooms in the house and then showed their skills in the first team training sessions. Each fighter was ranked from 1-4 and was matched up with an opponent. The first fighters chosen to fight were Nate Jennerman from Team McGregor against Roosevelt Roberts from Team Chandler. In true TUF fashion, there was some background given on both fighters. Video of their home lives were shown, families, past MMA experience, and more.
Jennerman and Roberts weighed in and were the first of the new season to grace the Octagon in the UFC APEX. The fight was an astonishing quick finish as Roberts ended Jennerman’s TUF hopes in just 10 seconds. With Dana White watching on, Roberts will be moving on and is one step closer to his UFC dreams once again becoming a reality.
After TUF is LIVE!
Din Thomas, Michael Chandler, Roosevelt Roberts, Rashad Evans, and John Kavanaugh recap episode 1 👏
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 31, 2023
— ESPN (@espn) May 31, 2023
Following the loss, Jennerman was consoled by McGregor, showing that he will be a hands-on coach throughout the season. After the conclusion of the episode, there were clips from the remainder of the season shown. It seems that Team McGregor will be getting their hands raised this season. Also, a brief clip of lightweight champion Islam Makhachev was shown, which could be interesting, especially with his relationship with McGregor’s former foe Khabib Nurmagomedov. This season seems to be a wild ride and fans are more than excited to buckle up and watch along.
The Ultimate Fighter 31: McGregor vs. Chandler can be seen on ESPN every Tuesday night at 10 pm ET.