Conor McGregor claimed victory on Season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31 by playing fast and loose with MMA math.
According to “Notorious,” Brad Katona’s win over Cody Gibson, coupled with his decision nod during the “stupid” Coaches’ Challenge on Episode 11, was enough claim dominance over Coach Chandler and his team of UFC veterans.
That overlooks a few important details, like the fact that Team McGregor went 1-7 in the quarterfinals, giving Katona the flexibility to defect from Team Chandler and join “Notorious” ahead of the finals at UFC 292 in Boston.
McGregor’s only fighter to win a fight, Rico DiSciullo, was bounced by Gibson in Episode 12.
Chandler also pointed out that McGregor, much like he did throughout the season, could not be bothered to attend the finals last weekend in “Beantown.” McGregor was rarely seen outside of the actual fights, unless he was promoting one of his products.
“You know, Conor does what Conor wants to do. I think I’m a different breed, not just separate from Conor. I think I’m a different breed from every single person on this roster, and a lot of people in the entire world,” Chandler told The Mac Life (transcribed by MMA News). “Whenever I sign my name on a dotted line, I show up, and I do it to the best of my ability. That’s why I was with Kurt, and Austin, and Cody earlier today, seeing them, giving them a hug, telling them how much I love them, telling them that I’m excited to watch them go and compete tonight, because tonight was part of the job.”
“That doesn’t mean that (McGregor) is doing anything wrong by not showing up,” Chandler continued. “I would love for him to be here for numerous reasons, not the least of which would be to go say ‘hi’ to him, see what’s up, see how life is, see how training’s going. But ultimately Conor does what Conor wants to do. I’m here. If he shows up, he does.”
McGregor is expected to make his Octagon return at some point in early 2024, despite this erroneous timeline, depending on how things shake out with USADA. Whether or not that actually happens (not everyone is a believer), remains to be seen.