On Saturday, the UFC revealed some massive breaking news on their social media pages. Dana White announced that Conor McGregor (22-6) would be returning to coach The Ultimate Fighter and his opposing coach will be “Iron” Michael Chandler (23-7).
The show will debut later in the spring and will run through the beginning of August. This will be the first time that TUF will air on ESPN the network. Since making it’s return, The Ultimate Fighter has been exclusively on ESPN+ and it hasn’t generated a great amount of interest.
Now, the UFC is bringing their biggest star back to coach when the show is making it’s debut on the network. Couldn’t ask for better television than having Conor McGregor be front and center. Not too mention it’s setting up the perfect fight for his return.
UFC made the right call
Ever since McGregor revealed that he was offered a coaching gig on TUF, there’s been speculation regarding who is opposing coach would be. Tony Ferguson said that he was contacted regarding the spot, but from what I’ve gathered, Ferguson was never the UFC’s first choice.
The UFC wanted the best fight for McGregor that would generate the most amount of interest and put him right back in the picture with the top guys in the world. There is no better fight for McGregor than Michael Chandler. Chandler has become must-see television and he’s the perfect opponent to welcome McGregor back.
No disrespect to Tony Ferguson or even Rafael Dos Anjos, but neither one of those men at this point carry the same weight as a Michael Chandler. From a fighting perspective, if McGregor can beat Chandler, he’s right back in the title picture. A win over Ferguson or RDA wouldn’t carry that much weight.
Michael Chandler has fought everyone the UFC has put in front of him. He’s been asking for the McGregor fight for over two years and he’s finally getting his wish. Now, we just get to see a season-long build-up before the payoff at the end when these two finally square off.