The highly anticipated return of Conor McGregor to ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ is making waves.
In the thrilling season premiere of TUF 31, McGregor and Michael Chandler, took center stage.
During Episode 1, there was no shortage of excitement as the coaches, McGregor and Chandler, expertly formed their teams.
In a departure from the usual TUF selection format, McGregor and Chandler were tasked with grouping their chosen fighters, allowing for strategic team-building.
McGregor, after winning the coin toss and taking the lead, selected Lee Hammond, Nate Jennerman, Aaron McKenzie, and Landon Quinones as his lightweight prospects.
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When it came time for Chandler to make his move in the bantamweight category, he opted for Hunter Azure, Cody Gibson, Brad Katona, and Timur Valiev, further setting himself apart from the remaining bantamweight prospects on McGregor’s team.
McGregor, on the other hand, welcomed Rico DiSciullo, Mando Gutierrez, Carlos Vera, and Trevor Wells as his promising bantamweight prospects.
To determine the tournament seeding and set up the thrilling first-round matches, the fighters went head-to-head to impress their coaches.
McGregor showcased his preference for intense sparring sessions, while Chandler leaned towards a more traditional training approach.
With Conor McGregor’s return and the exciting dynamic between him and Michael Chandler, The Ultimate Fighter season 31 promises to be a thrill for UFC fans.
Team McGregor (prospects)
Lee Hammond (27, 5-0)
Nate Jennerman (29, 16-5)
Aaron McKenzie (34, 11-2-1)
Landon Quinones (27, 7-1-1)
Mando Gutierrez (26, 8-2)
Trevor Wells (27, 8-3)
Carlos Vera (35, 11-3)
Rico DiSciullo (36, 11-2, 1 NC)
Team Chandler (veterans)
Jason Knight (30, 23-7)
Austin Hubbard (31, 15-6)
Roosevelt Roberts (28, 12-3, 1 NC)
Kurt Holobaugh (36, 19-7, 1 NC)
Hunter Azure (31, 10-3)
Brad Katona (31, 12-2)
Timur Valiev (33, 18-3, 1 NC)
Cody Gibson (35, 19-8)
The quarterfinal matchups are as follows, with No. 1 and No. 2 being matched up with No. 3 and No. 4 on the opposing team, respectively.
Lee Hammond vs. Kurt Holobaugh
Nate Jennerman vs. Roosevelt Roberts
Jason Knight vs. Landon Quinones
Austin Hubbard vs. Aaron McKenzie
Mando Gutierrez vs. Cody Gibson
Trevor Wells vs. Timur Valiev
Hunter Azure vs. Rico DiSciullo
Brad Katona vs. Carlos Vera