Conor McGregor Says He Was Supposed to Coach Against Nate Diaz on ‘TUF 31’

If Conor McGregor is to be believed, the originally proposed coaching matchup for “The Ultimate Fighter 31” would have renewed one of the UFC’s great rivalries.

During an appearance on "The MMA Hour" on Wednesday, McGregor revealed that he was initally expected to coach opposite Nate Diaz on the long-running reality show. That never came to fruition, though, and McGregor instead matched wits with Michael Chandler on “TUF 31.” A date for McGregor vs. Chandler has not been set.

“‘The Ultimate Fighter’ just kind of presented itself. It was originally for me to be against Nate. It was me vs. Nate,” McGregor said. “I did not mind who it was against, to be honest. Nor do I mind who I compete against, that’s widely known.

“I had agreed to it, it was Nate. It was a day or two before and now it’s Chandler. I’m not sure what went down on that end. It was me vs. Chandler and I have no problem with it, I’m happy with it. It’s gonna be a good bout for sure.”

Diaz completed his contract with the promotion at UFC 279, when he submitted Tony Ferguson with a fourth-round guillotine last September. Upon becoming a free agent, Diaz’s manager revealed that the fighter planned to compete multiple times in 2023. The Stockton, Calif., native’s interests reportedly included boxing and a trilogy with McGregor.

The Irish star wasn’t sure what type of agreement Diaz had in place with the UFC, only that he was nearly on board for “TUF 31.” Regardless, McGregor is confident he and Diaz will square off for a third time at some point in the future.

“No, I’ll get that again. That trilogy will happen at some stage for sure,” McGregor said. “He was gone, but he was still doing the show. That’s all politics. We must fight. We’re one-apiece. It’s a great rivalry and it was a great fight. We’ve got to square that away for sure.

“Am I a person not to get the fights made and done and happen? Look at all the fights I’ve had,” he continued. “When I say it, it happens. I have a load of bouts left in me. A lot of story is incomplete. I’m excited to continue on and get them done.”

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