Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor are set to coach opposing teams on season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter. The No.5-ranked lightweight’s coaching staff for the upcoming season, which has already begun filming, has been revealed.
Ryan Bader, who was the light heavyweight tournament winner on season eight of TUF, shared a picture to his Instagram account announcing his position on Chandler’s coaching staff.
In addition to the Bellator heavyweight champion, Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor Robert Drysdale, boxing coach Jason Strout, and wrestling coach Greg Jones will serve on the staff.
Michael Chandler previously told MMA Fighting that he was unsure of who would be on his staff, stating
“I didn’t get a lot of time to plan and No. 2, I’m not giving anybody I ask a ton of time to plan. I’ve got a phenomenal team down in Florida. I would love to have [Kill Cliff Fight Club head coach] Henri Hooft there with me every step of the way. In my mind, he’s the best head coach and best striking coach on the planet but asking him to leave the team for ‘X’ amount of weeks, is tough.”
Chandler added that he will have a few mainstays on his coaching staff while also bringing in help on a day-to-day basis. As far as Conor McGregor’s coaching staff, not much has been made clear besides that he will have longtime head coach John Kavanagh by his side.
Check out photos of Michael Chandler’s coaching staff below:
Sean O’Malley shares why Conor McGregor will have a difficult time
Conor McGregor has not fought since UFC 264 more than 18 months ago. While the opponent for his return has been announced, the date has not, however, it will be more than two years since UFC 264 as he needs six months in the USADA testing pool before returning.
Sean O’Malley recently shared how the former double champion’s removal from the testing pool, and presumed steroid usage, could prove problematic. Speaking on his podcast, TimboSugarShow, the No.1-ranked bantamweight stated:
“[Conor’s] been sauced up, too. He wasn’t even in the USADA pool so it doesn’t matter what he’s taking at that time. He obviously has to be in the USADA pool for six months, but imagine being on that s**t feeling so f**king good training – you f**king train, you do your s**t, you just train and train and train, then you have to get off that to make sure you pass all the tests and then you’re not feeling like training as much.”
While coming off of steroids may have negative ramifications, spending plenty of time in a house filled with fighters could provide the motivation that McGregor has seemingly lacked since receiving a massive payday to box against Floyd Mayweather.
The UFC’s biggest star has just registered one win since becoming a double champion in 2016, however, there has been plenty of speculation that he could receive a title opportunity with a victory over Chandler.