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TUF 31 results video, full Ep. 2 recap | McGregor vs. Chandler

Season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) returned earlier tonight (Tues., June 6, 2023) on ESPN for Ep. 2 of the long-running combat sports reality show, featuring head coaches Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler leading respective squads of lightweight and bantamweight contestants. Remember, immediate replays of TUF 31 are available on ESPN+ (sign up here) right now, or you can save yourself an hour and just read our complete recap below.

Missed Ep. 1? No problem! Get full results and recap videos right here.

Ep. 2 gets underway at the APEX facility where UFC stages its TUF fights. Timur Valiev is previewing his upcoming quarterfinal bout against Trevor Wells, who won’t be intimidated by the mystique of the Dagestani fighter, insisting not every fighter who comes out of Dagestan is the next Khabib Nurmagomedov. Out of nowhere, Jeff Mullen from Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) pops his head into the gym and wants to have a word with Coach Chandler.

I’m sure everything is fine (not really).

Looks like Wells has been ruled medically unfit to compete so he’s benched until next week (or longer), depending on how things shake out. Wells claims he woke up with a cold sore and it looks like a red map of Italy on his face. Coach McGregor blames the rigors of weight cutting. Speaking of cutting weight, Valiev did not appreciate learning the news that he would have to cut weight a second time in roughly seven days. UFC President Dana White is open to staging the bout at catchweight if Wells is cleared to compete next week.

So what happens this week?

The bantamweight fight between Mando Gutierrez and Cody Gibson has been moved up and will take the place of Valiev vs. Wells. Gutierrez was previously on the promotion’s “Contender Series” proving ground but lost a competitive decision. He expects to expose Gibson’s “lazy jab” with his superior gameplan. We get a couple of feel-good moments with Gutierrez talking about his girlfriend and his “little baby girl” which turns out to be ... a dog. We get some footage of them hugging and kissing and traveling together. Look, I love animals but people who present their dogs as being on the same level as their own children are just weird. Gutierrez, who is also a barber, transitioned to MMA after his wrestling aspirations failed to materialize.

Coach McGregor is trying to hype up his squad but he’s completely gassed from light sparring. All that muscle comes at a price, homie. We fast-forward to later that night at the house and Landon Quinones is talking all kinds of smack, running down the veteran contestants. Roosevelt Roberts tells him to STFU and offers to settle it outside, to which Quinones politely declines. McGregor shows up at the gym to get a haircut from Gutierrez, who shames himself by ceaselessly sucking up to “Notorious” during the protracted trim. After the haircut, Mac bounces around the house to chat with his team.

Gibson, now 35, was just 1-3 in four fights from 2014-15 and went back to the regional circuit for the next several years. A 7-2 record was good enough to get him called back to compete on TUF and “The Renegade” believes it’s a “blessing” to be on Team Chandler where he’s getting intensive one-on-one coaching. Turns out Gibson was adopted as a baby and Chandler adopted two sons, so they have that common bond. Gibson reveals he met his wife (and mother of his two young girls) by “sliding into her DMs on MySpace,” which you don’t hear very often. He currently trains at “The Pit” and mentions working with Jake Shields ... and now I have to root against him. After the weigh ins, White previews the next fight and claims the 26 year-old Gutierrez could be the underdog against the crafty veteran. Still lots of time left in the episode so we might be going to a decision — or maybe we just have a lot of commercials yet to come.

Two five minute rounds, plus a third “sudden victory” round if necessary. Let’s fight!

135 lbs.: Mando Gutierrez (Team McGregor) vs. Cody Gibson (Team Chandler)

Round 1: No touch of gloves and Gibson opens with a front kick. Gutierrez returns fire and tries to tie up but Gibson tangles him up and pushes him to the cage. Both corners screaming instructions. Gutierrez powers out and eats a body kick. Gibson charges in with punches and kicks and they tie up against the cage. Gibson with the body lock but can’t get the throw. They separate and Gibson staying in his face with punches. Gutierrez slugs his way out. Kick by Gutierrez. Running punch by Gibson and Chandler warns him not to rush. Gibson eats a hard right hand then storms back with a jumping knee. Gutierrez crumbles to the mat. Gibson pounces with hammer fists and gets warned for striking to the back of the head. Gutierrez turtles. Gibson plays Donkey Kong Bongos on his opponent’s head until the referee intervenes. Gutierrez sits up and he’s wearing a crimson mask. Yikes.

Final result: Gibson def. Gutierrez by technical knockout

After the fight we get a closer look at the eye of Gutierrez and it is f—ked the f—k up. Coach McGregor calls him a “great little fighter” which I think is supposed to be a compliment.

Here’s where we stand after Episode 2:

Team McGregor:

135 lbs.: Mando Gutierrez (No. 1)
135 lbs.: Trevor Wells (No. 2)
135 lbs.: Carlos Vera (No. 3)
135 lbs.: Rico DiSciullo (No. 4)

155 lbs.: Lee Hammond (No. 1)
155 lbs.: Nate Jennerman (No. 2)
155 lbs.: Aaron McKenzie (No. 3)
155 lbs.: Landon Quinones Stewart (No. 4)

Team Chandler:

135 lbs.: Hunter Azure (No. 1)
135 lbs.: Brad Katona (No. 2)
135 lbs.: Timur Valiev (No. 3)
135 lbs.: Cody Gibson (No. 4)

155 lbs.: Jason Knight (No. 1)
155 lbs.: Austin Hubbard (No. 2)
155 lbs.: Roosevelt Roberts (No. 3)
155 lbs.: Kurt Holobaugh (No. 4)

Coach Chandler and his team of UFC veterans are up two-zip.

Here are the remaining elimination fights:

155 lbs.: Austin Hubbard (No. 2) vs. Aaron McKenzie (No. 3)
135 lbs.: Trevor Wells (No. 2) vs. Timur Valiev (No. 3)
135 lbs.: Brad Katona (No. 2) vs. Carlos Vera (No. 3)
155 lbs.: Lee Hammond (No. 1) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (No. 4)
155 lbs.: Jason Knight (No. 1) vs. Landon Quinones Stewart (No. 4)
135 lbs.: Rico DiSciullo (No. 4) vs. Hunter Azure (No. 1)

See you in seven days for Austin Hubbard vs. Aaron McKenzie and the rest of Episode 3!

For more on TUF 31 and other recent McGregor-related bits, click here.

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