Conor McGregor agreed to coach The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31 ahead of his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) return, but one of his conditions — aside from the cold, hard cash — was that a couple of guys from his inside circle were given immediate roster spots on the combat sports reality show.
That meant cutting existing fighters like Loik Radzhabov, a teammate of UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns. McGregor later denied having any influence in the cast selection and promotion president Dana White played dumb at a subsequent press conference, claiming he had “no idea.”
“That just happened recently where Conor McGregor was going to coach this season of The Ultimate Fighter,” White told The Pat McAfee show. “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 (expletive) media [says], ‘Oh, that’s not fair, and what happened to those guys?’ Shut the f*ck 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.”
White made good on his word, giving Radzhabov a short-notice fight at the UFC 285 pay-per-view (PPV) event earlier this month in Las Vegas. The 32 year-old “Jaguar Paw” picked up a unanimous decision victory over Esteban Ribovics on the “Prelims” portion of the UFC 285 fight card and now has a UFC contract.
Sure beats a year’s supply of Turtle Wax.