Dana White has confirmed that Conor McGregor replaced two contestants on <em>The Ultimate Fighter</em> with his own acquaintances – a report that McGregor previously denied.
McGregor is filming the new season of the UFC’s reality television show, coaching a team of fighters while Michael Chandler trains the opposing team. McGregor, 34, and Chandler, 36, will then fight one another later this year.
Reports in February suggested that Irishman McGregor had replaced two members of his team with ‘his own guys’, a claim that the former dual-weight champion denied. “Not true,” McGregor tweeted at the time. “I only know 1 guy on this show and he put himself forward for it […] I didn’t ask nor request nothing! And I certainly didn’t have people removed.”
However, UFC president White has now contradicted McGregor and confirmed the initial reports.
Speaking on The Pat McAfee Show, White said on Thursday (9 March): “The problem is, if you call us a league – if you have a league like we have – once you start giving to one then you have to give to 850 [people]. ‘Why does he get to do this and I don’t get to do this?’
“And I do that sometimes. That just happened recently, where Conor McGregor was going to coach this season of The Ultimate Fighter. He’s like: ‘Yeah, I’ll do it, but I’m bringing two guys that I want to make it right onto the show.’
“Then, of course, the f***ing media [says], ‘Oh, that’s not fair, and what happened to those guys?’ Shut the f*** up.
“So, we’ll take care of the guys that aren’t on it, and this is what Conor wants, we’ll give it to him.”
No date, location or weight class has yet been confirmed for McGregor vs Chandler, but White insisted that the fight will go ahead.
“We’re still working on that and figuring that out,” White said. “There’s a lot of work to do on the Conor fight still.
“They’re going to fight. ‘When’ isn’t guaranteed – when, what weight class, what are these guys doing. Conor’s filming this season of The Ultimate Fighter with Chandler, but Conor’s still coming back from that shin break. There’s still a lot of questions and ifs, and we don’t have answers yet.”
White was referencing the broken leg that McGregor suffered in his last fight, a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021.
Chandler also lost to Poirier in his last outing, when he was submitted by his fellow American in November.
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