It appears whatever cordial relationship Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler shared when The Ultimate Fighter 31 started filming has come to an abrupt end.
There appeared to be a mutual respect between the UFC stars as they coached a group of lightweights and bantamweights, including several UFC veterans such as Jason Knight, Austin Hubbard, Brad Katona and Cody Gibson.
That all changed a few days ago after some sort of altercation took place during production. UFC President Dana White teased there was bad news that turned filming into a volatile situation between McGregor and Chandler.
“Chandler and Conor were very respectful to each other, and then some things started escalating that you’ll see on the show,” White said at the UFC 285 post-fight press conference. “They do not like each other now. A lot of s*** went down on Friday.”
With the show set to begin airing on ESPN on May 30, White couldn’t reveal the nature of what exactly happened. But it appeared things turned physical between the coaches.
White didn’t try to oversell the incident just for the sake of better TV ratings, but he admitted it was bad enough that he wishes the quarrel never unfolded in the first place.
“There was a lot of s*** that went down on Friday, yeah,” White said. “I don’t look at stuff that’s good for the show or things like that. Whatever happens, happens.
“The stuff that just happened shouldn’t have happened and I’m getting old. I would have been in there sooner back in the days but not good.”
While this is Chandler’s first stint as coach on The Ultimate Fighter, McGregor has been here before — and he’s been involved in physical altercations in the past. The most notable incident was when McGregor coached opposite Urijah Faber during TUF 22. The Irish superstar was taking jabs at T.J. Dillashaw, who was still part of Faber’s Team Alpha Male at the time. An argument erupted with former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt that ended with Garbrandt shoving McGregor and nearly igniting a brawl between the two teams.
There’s no telling what went down between McGregor and Chandler, but it seems the once friendly rivals are now definitely at odds.
They’ll get to settle whatever grudge is being built up during the reality show when they finally face off later this year, though there’s still no date attached to the fight.
“Trust me if there was [a date], you would have heard about it already,” White responded when asked about a McGregor vs. Chandler. “As soon as there is, we’ll announce it, but no not yet.”