Iron’ Michael Chandler wants to be better than Conor McGregor in every conceivable way.
The two lightweight superstars are currently in the middle of filming the 31st season of the UFC’s popular reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. Expected to air between May and August, the show will feature Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor as opposing coaches before their inevitable scrap inside the Octagon later this year. Taking a moment away from filming, ‘Iron’ spoke with Oscar Willis of TheMACLife to share some details on the process.
“The experience has been a lot of fun,” Chandler said. “A lot more work than I ever thought it was going to be. I thought I was going to come here, run some practices, and try to beat Conor in this competition. Turns out, I want all of these guys to win these fights so much more than I want to beat Conor. It’s a lot of work. Pouring into these guys both physically with all the practices and then I’ve got all the interviews. Just the time spent with them, trying to get them to their goal of getting that UFC contract.
“Me and Conor, we’re just competitors. He came here to win. I came here to win. We take this personally. We both want to win so it’s been a few ups and a few downs. It’s been a lot of fun to be here on camera and on microphone nonstop for the last month.”
Michael Chandler on the Tense and Competitive Environment on the TUF Set
Michael Chandler went on to discuss the environment while filming The Ultimate Fighter, noting the consistently building tension as they get closer to the final day of filming and their highly anticipated showdown.
“You’re just trying to wade through all of your different emotions throughout this entire thing while you’re also in the presence of the guy you’re going to fight,” Chandler continued. “Who you’re also competing against. Right now you’re competing on a reality show. You’re competing for your fighters, but you know that every single inch that you take is starting the battleground.
“It’s a constant intense scenario. Me and Conor want to win this thing. I want to beat him in every single fight. I want to beat him in the competition. I want to be a better coach than him. I want to be a better everything than him and he wants to be the exact same thing. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s gonna be great TV because Conor and I, we’re here to win a show. We’re here to do what we said we were going to do.”
With the show set to wrap filming in the near future and an expected air date through August, Michael Chandler hopes he won’t have to wait too long before stepping inside the cage with ‘The Notorious’ this fall. Chandler also commented on the potential weight class, stating that both he and Conor McGregor would prefer the bout to be contested at 170-pounds rather than their typical 155-pound setting.
“It ends in August, it would make sense for us to fight not too far after that. September, October. It’s been said to be that it should be sometime this fall, but it depends on where Conor is and when he’s ready to come back. Obviously, I want Conor at his biggest and his baddest, and his best. I would like it at 170. It’s well-documented that he wants it at 170. I want him to be 100% healthy.
“I’ve seen him, obviously. Physically moving around and stuff, it looks like his leg has healed which is great to hear. He deserves to come back 100% and we give the world what they deserve and that’s a knockdown drag-out war on pay-per-view later on this year.”