Conor McGregor will return to Octagon vs. Michael Chandler after they coach 'TUF 31'
Conor McGregor’s return to the Octagon is finally set, UFC president Dana White announced Saturday.
The 34-year-old will coach the 31st season of “The Ultimate Fighter” against former three-time Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler. At the end of the season, the two will fight, though the details have yet to be finalized.
“I do not have a date or location for that, but we will announce it soon,” White said.
McGREGOR vs CHANDLER IS CONFIRMED!!@TheNotoriousMMA and @MikeChandlerMMA will officially coach the next season of #TUF31! pic.twitter.com/effjf0Rg2M
— UFC (@ufc) February 4, 2023
The show will air on ESPN and ESPN+ from May 30 to Aug. 15, so fans can tentatively expect to see the clash in the fall. McGregor, coached on the reality series in 2015 against Urijah Faber.
He has not competed in a fight since he broke his leg in a bout against Dustin Poirier in July 2021.
The former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion fielded many calls back to the Octagon from former foes like boxer Floyd Mayweather, who said that a rematch would occur this year. Chandler has been asking for the ticket for even longer.
Last May, Chandler called out McGregor once again after delivering a classic head kick knockout to defeat Tony Ferguson in UFC 247. “Conor McGregor, you have to come back and fight somebody,” Chandler said in his post-match interview.
“I am the most entertaining lightweight on the planet, but I’ll up the stakes, Conor. I want you at your biggest. I want you at your baddest and at your best. You and me at 170 this summer, this fall, this winter. Holla at your boy.” McGregor responded by admitting he liked the idea, “definitely” at some point.
Two years older than McGregor (22-6), Chandler (23-8) is also coming off a loss to Poirier at UFC 281 in November.
McGregor was the first fighter to hold two separate weight division titles in UFC concurrently and recently drew attention for gaining some weight in his hiatus. In November, some eyebrows were raised when he shared that he would be “clear for testing in February,” seemingly bypassing the required six months of testing pool availability.