TUF 31 Update: Team Chandler Enlists Bader, McGregor Playing Favorites

Bellator heavyweight champion, and TUF Season 8 alumni, Ryan Bader has joined Team Chandler to assist with coaching responsibilities on The Ultimate Fighter Season 31.

The latest season of the reality series that put the UFC on the map completed their first day of shooting on February 16th, and is scheduled to air on ESPN+ beginning May 30th.

Bader was the first light heavyweight contestant to be selected by Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira on the show’s 2008 season. He went on to achieve the title of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ after knocking out Vinny Magalhães in the first round of their bout during the finale that December.

There is no doubt that Bader will bring a wealth of knowledge to Chandler’s team, given his tenure in the sport. Not to mention, his successful experience on TUF season 8 could very well provide an additional edge.

To add to the team’s coaching staff, Chandler has also enlisted the help of Jason Strout and Greg Jones of Kill Cliff FC, his primary training facility. To round things out even further, the 2007 ADCC submission grappling world champion Robert Drysdale has also been brought on.

Opposite of Chandler, an update surrounding Conor McGregor’s team has also been circulating.

The former UFC champion has been accused of replacing fighters who rightfully earned a spot on his team with competitors that he is already familiar with. Many have already compared this situation to TUF season 22, when McGregor awarded his then-friend Artem Lobov a contestant position, in a move that strictly seemed to be an effort to further Lobov’s career and notoriety.

Additionally, Kris Moutinho, who previously fought on the same card as McGregor at UFC 264, has announced he was too cut from the cast. It is currently unclear if this was also as a result of McGregor tinkering with the roster.

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