Conor McGregor’s team remain winless after four awful weeks at TUF 31

Conor McGregor's team can now only finish the season at .500, at best.

By: Jack Wannan | 3 months ago
Conor McGregor’s team remain winless after four awful weeks at TUF 31
Conor McGregor's team has lost for the fourth straight time. | IMAGO / Inpho Photography

Conor McGregor’s team on season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter has yet to win through four weeks of the show. Timur Valiev, who represented Michael Chandler’s team, overcame Trevor Wells in a unanimous decision result on Tuesday’s episode.

The result means that McGregor’s team has yet to get on the board through the halfway point of the opening round. There are four more quarter-final bouts set to happen, giving McGregor’s team the chance to get some wins or potentially even things up.

Valiev pummels Wells to give Team Chandler a win

Valiev went two rounds against Wells to earn the scorecard nod this week. The first round of their fight was the closer of the two, taking place mostly on the feet where the bantamweights exchanged shots.

But the second round went entirely Valiev’s way, as he took Wells to the ground and wailed away with punches from a full mount position. After it was declared that a third round (which is only used in overtime circumstances on TUF, when a bout is tied through two rounds) wasn’t needed, it was already known that Valiev would walk away with the victory.

Experience prevails on The Ultimate Fighter 31

Along with the McGregor vs. Chandler theme of this season is the pattern that one team is former UFC fighters looking to return to the promotion, and the other group is prospects looking for their debut in the octagon.

Chandler’s team, the veterans, have all won this season thus far. Valiev fought in the UFC from 2020 to 2022, attaining two wins, one loss and one no-contest in that time.

Wells is a bantamweight prospect that entered the show with a record of eight wins and three losses. He put together a four-fight winning streak on the regional scene last year.

A fight between Valiev and Wells was first scheduled to take place on the second episode of the season but was bumped due to a cold sore stopping Wells from competing. Since their fight was a quick turnaround, it took place at a catchweight of 142 pounds instead of the usual 136-pound bantamweight non-championship limit.

There was some negotiation during the episode about what would be the proper catchweight for the fight’s rescheduling. Team McGregor pushed to keep the fight as low as the bantamweight limit, as it was believed that Wells would have the easier weight cut. But Chandler rallied behind his fighter, pushing for as high of a catchweight as 144 pounds before both sides settled on 142 pounds.

Along with Valiev, the other bantamweight name to advance thus far is Cody Gibson. He beat Mando Gutierrez in the second episode, stopping him in the first round. Over on the lightweight side of things, Roosevelt Roberts and Austin Hubbard have advanced. Roberts notably started the season with a bang, putting away opponent Nate Jennerman in mere seconds.

Up next: Katona and Vera. Can Team Conor McGregor get on the board?

This week was notably the first to air since McGregor was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at Game 4 of the NBA Finals. On Tuesday, MMA Junkie did not receive a response from staff at ESPN or UFC about whether the allegations towards McGregor will change the plans or air the show or the contents of the show.

Next week’s episode of the show will see bantamweights Brad Katona and Carlos Vera face off.

Katona is no stranger to TUF, having won Season 27 back in 2018. He departed the UFC roster in 2019 after attaining two wins through four appearances. He has had a stellar run since then, attaining a flawless four wins in Brave CF since 2021.

Vera joined TUF after a strong four-fight run in Texas-based regional promotion Fury FC from 2021 to 2022. The added pressure will be on Vera who, not only is fighting to get into the next round but is looking to give Team McGregor their first victory through five weeks of competition.

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About the author
Jack Wannan
Jack Wannan

Jack Wannan is a reporter for Bloody Elbow. He joined the site in 2023 after previously writing for and Knockdown News. He is currently in the process of earning a bachelor's degree in journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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