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Conor McGregor addresses ‘hostile’ altercation with Michael Chandler on TUF 31: ‘Tempers were flared’

US-UFC-MMA Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Conor McGregor has erupted during press conferences, weigh-ins, and even after his fights are already over, but he doesn’t seem all that upset about a recent altercation he had with Michael Chandler on the new season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Ahead of the reality show returning on May 30, UFC president Dana White revealed recently that whatever respect was shared between the two combatants went flying out the window after McGregor and Chandler were involved in some sort of incident that boiled over during production. Obviously, White couldn’t say exact what happened but he added that McGregor and Chandler “do not like each other” after what unfolded.

Addressing the situation, McGregor didn’t sound all that bothered by what happened while adding that putting two rivals in a competition like that will surely bring out the best and worst in them, which is what led to the altercation.

“I had respect for Chandler [going into the show],” McGregor told the My Mom’s Basement podcast. “We had an issue. Obviously tempers are flaring. It’s a hostile thing, right? Respect and admiration. I like his style, he likes my style, we have a good buzz. That’s the way it should be.

“There’s still a competitive fire. I’m still going to mince him. I know he’s going to try and throw everything into his shots also but there’s still admiration.”

McGregor isn’t holding any grudges against Chandler regarding the incident, which is how he wishes more fighters handled these kinds of issues.

“That’s how it should be,” McGregor said. “That’s how the sport should be. You should have the ability to separate it. That’s the great thing about this sport. Usually when you get in there and do it, it’s a settler so we had an issue once during [filming] and it was all good.

“It was just tempers were flared and we got past it and I’m excited to have completed competition against him on the show and I’m excited to compete against him now for real.”

McGregor was ultimately happy with his experience during TUF 31, which is the second time he’s coached on the show after previously appearing on season 22 when he went against UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber.

More than anything, McGregor was just happy to get back around the fighting environment again after spending the better part of the past two years recovering from a devastating broken leg suffered in his last outing against Dustin Poirier.

“It’s almost a little bit over too soon,” McGregor said about filming on the show. “So I want to continue it almost. I’m trying to formulate my camp now as I begin post-show preparations. I got a great start here. We hit the ground running.

“I was immersed in the training with the lads myself. I was sparring as they were sparring. We had some good work, it was a good show. A great experience.”

McGregor hopes that his appearance on TUF 31 and the upcoming fight against Chandler will really serve as a catalyst to a much busier couple of years ahead for him.

Since 2016 when he became the first ever simultaneous two-division UFC champion, the Irish superstar has only competed five times including a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. He’s gone 1-3 in his past four fights in the UFC while missing out completely on competing in both 2019 and again in 2022.

“I hope for 100 fights. I hope for 100 more fights,” McGregor said. “I’m hoping for consistency. I’m working for consistency. I’ve been getting this on-off, on-off nonsense for too long. It’s via fight politics, it’s via injuries, via life, it does happen. It’s God’s plan, it’s all God so I accept and understand it but I’m excited and I’m hopeful that I can get a nice consecutive run of bouts.

“I’ve got a lot of exciting fights. I’ve got some rivalries. You’ve got guys on the climb. You’ve got guys [in] divisions that are supposed to be the best this and that in the division. There’s loads of bouts that I could have and I’m excited about every single one of them. That’s it. Please God, we can make it happen.”

First things first, McGregor has to get through Chandler in a fight that is still awaiting a date, location and even a weight class.

Regardless when or where it happens, the now 34-year-old former champion is anxious to prove he’s still one of the best fighters in the world and it appears he plans on using Chandler as a way to send his message to the world.

“For Chandler, I’m just too slick for him,” McGregor said. “I’m too skilled for him. He’s not fought someone like me. I’ve fought someone like him though. Just in general, it’s the mixed martial arts style. The short wrestler, it’s just kind of MMA through the years. It ain’t nothing peculiar or nothing I’m unsure of. I’ve fought against that style for many, many years.

“Michael obviously, he was with a smaller promotion and then he worked his way up, he’s had some excellent fights and he’s earned the right to be in this position. But it will be my job now on fight night to show the levels and show there is a much higher skill level here. That’s it. I’m excited to get going.”

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