After being teased earlier in the week, viewers of The Ultimate Fighter 31 finally saw the meltdown that nearly brought Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler to blows.
In the latest episode, McGregor’s team was still chasing their first win, down 5-0 to Chandler’s squad. Lee Hammond, representing Team McGregor, would clash with Kurt Holobaugh in the episode’s main fight.
Hammond looked well on his way to delivering Team McGregor’s first win, but disaster struck in the second round. Though Hammond had Holobaugh on the ground, Holobaugh was able to scramble and take his back, choking him out and stealing the win. Things went south in a hurry, as McGregor turned his ire towards Chandler.
Chandler goaded McGregor, calling him out for being an absent coach. This immediately triggered McGregor, and the former two-division champion lunged at Chandler, shoving him backward. As the two had to be separated, UFC President Dana White rushed to the octagon to restore order between the two.
Ultimate Fighter Spat Might Be As Good As It Gets
This season of The Ultimate Fighter brought the promise of a build toward a McGregor vs. Chandler super fight. Between McGregor’s inability to enter USADA testing pools and his mounting issues outside the sport, the fight with Chandler is a no-go for 2022.
There is the chance the fight could be strung along for UFC 300. By then, McGregor would have enough time to re-enter USADA testing protocols.
At that point, Chandler will be 38 and out of the octagon for 17 months. McGregor will have been out for more than two years. The fight, a sure-fire main event today, might not be as big for that show if it comes off at all.
For now, this is as close as fans will be getting to McGregor vs. Chandler. Much like the rest of this season of The Ultimate Fighter, it was all sizzle with no spark.