Three fighters slated to compete on TUF 31 have been pulled to make room for Conor McGregor’s handpicked contestants.
Former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor (22-6 MMA) and No. 5 ranked lightweight contender Michael Chandler (23-8 MMA) will go head-to-head as coaches on the upcoming season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’.
TUF 31 will premiere on Tuesday, May 30th and will air exclusively on ESPN. The twelve-episode season will run through till August 15th.
At the completion of the series, McGregor and Chandler are set to meet in the Octagon for a much-anticipated fight. The date, time and location are yet to be confirmed by the promotion.
McGregor, 34, hasn’t stepped into the Octagon since breaking his leg in a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier (29-7 MMA) at UFC 264 in July 2021. This will be the Irishman’s second time as a coach on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. It was back in 2015 in the 22nd season of TUF that he coached opposite Urijah Faber (35-11 MMA).
Chandler, 36, last fought in November of last year at UFC 281 where he was defeated by Dustin Poirier by submission.
The lineup for TUF 31 was posted by ‘MMA Orbit’ today, February 17th and can be seen below:
Danny Rubenstein, industry insider and sports agent, took to ‘Twitter‘ advising the following fighters have already been removed from the show:
Ken Cross, Mitch Ramirez and Brandon Jenkins all got pulled off to make room for 3 of Conor’s guy to be on the show.
— Daniel Rubenstein (@dannyrube) February 17, 2023
“Ken Cross, Mitch Ramirez and Brandon Jenkins all got pulled off to make room for 3 of Conor’s guy to be on the show.”
Nolan King of ‘MMA Junkie’ also took to ‘Twitter’ to comment on the removal of the fighters:
“TUF 31 has just begun and it has already sounded like an unpleasant experience for some casted fighters. After over a week of isolation in separate hotel rooms with little direction, some fighters were informed they won’t be on the show after all… There are always alternates as you know, but it was indicated to some fighters they would outright be on the show, then they were bumped once Conor was selected to coach.”
Although it is unclear who will replace the trio of fighters who’ve been removed, word has it that Conor McGregor will be hand-picking the replacements.
The UFC is expected to release the full roster of lightweight and bantamweight fighters participating in TUF 31 in the coming days.
Are you looking forward to The Ultimate Fighter 31?
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