The sixth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 31 saw a heated confrontation between the UFC stars, who served as opposing coaches on the reality show competition. After his team suffered another loss to drop to 0-6 in the competition, McGregor went face-to-face with Chandler and ended up delivering a hard shove to the former Bellator star.
Watch their faceoff here:
Discussing the latest episode on his reaction show, Chandler said that the brief interaction was as tense as it looked and that there was a legitimate possibility he and McGregor would have thrown down.
“No matter what, we would have started fighting,” Chandler said. “As you saw, Ryan Bader was in there, he pushed Conor’s guy away, so we kind of had the two biggest guys on our teams pushing each other away. You had me and Conor there, Dana was in within seconds, Conor’s security guard was there, so I think there was a moment there where he was taking off his jacket and I’m like, ‘OK, what are we going to fight right here?’
“I can tell you this: Dude was ticked off. Like, he was definitely mad. Because you’ve got to remember too, it wasn’t just between he and I, it was between he and Lee Hammond. It was his sights set so high on his star pupil about to win the fight… and it all happened so fast too. He legitimately went from shaking hands with Kurt Holobaugh straight to ‘These dudes were in the UFC before you were’ blah blah blah, then I said, ‘Hey, as long as you show up.’ Then it came.”
Following the conclusion of the season, McGregor and Chandler are expected to face one another at a later date. However, McGregor appears to be ineligible to compete in 2023 until he returns to the USADA drug testing program. The former two-division champion is also dealing with sexual assault allegations, with the incident allegedly occurring at an NBA Finals game in June.
For now, Chandler sounds more like he’s amused with McGregor’s TUF 31 antics than anything.
“That was kind of when we got in each other’s face,” Chandler said. “What did he say? ‘Some of these guys were in the UFC before you.’ Well, duh, I don’t care. I would have got in the UFC three years ago. As long as you show up, I can’t wait to break your face, basically. He said, ‘I’ll break your nose, you little Bellator tick.’”
Chandler’s team of former UFC fighters has cruised through the competition so far and the latest episode saw Kurt Holobaugh, the oldest fighter on the show seeking his third contract with the UFC, defeat McGregor’s protege Lee Hammond.
With the first sweep in TUF history in the cards, Chandler is shrugging off McGregor’s trash talk with a smile.
“I was laughing at him,” Chandler said. “That’s where I’m like, ‘Hey, we’re going to keep stacking them up.’ You can say I’m a Bellator coach, Bellator this, Bellator that, you can whatever you want but we’re just going to keep stacking them up. Team Chandler going to keep stacking them up.”