Conor McGregor to face Michael Chandler, serve as 'TUF' coach

February 4, 2023, 10:39 AM

Conor McGregor's return has been set, as the former UFC double champion will coach against lightweight star Michael Chandler on the next season of "The Ultimate Fighter" before facing him in the Octagon.

UFC president Dana White announced McGregor and Chandler as the coaches on social media Saturday. No date or location was announced for the McGregor-Chandler fight, which will likely take place at 170 pounds.

The 31st season of "The Ultimate Fighter," which will air on ESPN and ESPN+, will run from May 30 to Aug. 15.

McGregor, who coached on the reality series in 2015 against Urijah Faber, has not competed since breaking his left leg in a fight with Dustin Poirier in July 2021. Chandler has been calling for a fight with McGregor for more than a year.

A former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion, McGregor (22-6) was the first fighter to hold two separate weight division titles in UFC concurrently. The Irish-born fighter holds the fastest finish in UFC title fight history, a 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo for the featherweight belt in 2015, but the 34-year-old has dropped two straight and three of his past four.

Chandler (23-8) is a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion. The Missouri native came to UFC as a free agent in 2021 and has already faced some of the best fighters in the promotion's 155-pound division. Chandler, 36, is coming off a loss to Poirier at UFC 281 in November and has lost three of four with a Knockout of the Year victory in May against Tony Ferguson mixed in.