The Ultimate Fighter: Conor McGregor doubles down on criticism

Conor McGregor has reiterated his criticism of the bout structure on The Ultimate Fighter, after his team fell to a 0-5 skid against Michael Chandler’s team.

McGregor’s fighters have lost every contest in the first five episodes of the new season of the UFC television show. In this week’s episode, Carlos Vera suffered a decision defeat by Brad Katona – a long-time training partner of McGregor.

Katona won both rounds on the judges’ scorecards, with former UFC champion McGregor bemoaning the lack of a third round in The Ultimate Fighter’s bouts.

“Tell them ‘three rounds’, yeah?” McGregor said after Vera’s loss to Katona, appearing to aim the comment at UFC president Dana White.

“The fight’s not over, they’re unfinished fights,” the Irishman added in a backstage interview. “If they got unfinished fights, give them a third round. The guys are fighting for their life here. In those situations where they’re closely contested, back and forth, there should be a third round.

“I mean, this guy [Katona] is in there, [saying]: ‘Yeah!’ What was done there? Nothing. I’m surprised that those two [fighters] were called at the second round to be honest.”

McGregor, 34, also told Vera in the team’s locker room: “Unfinished fight, that’s it. They’re unfinished fights, man. Let them go another round. They’re three-rounders [that] we need. F*** two rounds.

“That was great, that was great. That body kick was money, man – beautiful shot. He’s a solid fighter, I know; he’s trained with us a long time. So, keeping going, Carlos. Great work, my man. Proud of you, bud.”

Vera, meanwhile, said in an interview on this week’s episode: “I hate to lose. It is what it is, and there’s a lot of things I have to work on, but I fought my fight. I have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be sad about. So, onto the next one.”

McGregor and American Chandler are supposed to fight one another at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter’s run this summer, but McGregor is still not in the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s testing pool.

Fighters must be in the pool for six months and return at least two negative tests – and zero positives – in order to compete in the UFC, unless an exemption is granted. As such, McGregor vs Chandler is unlikely to take place in 2023.

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