Despite $2,100,000,000 UFC-ESPN Deal, Conor McGregor Slapped With Brutal Reality Check as TUF 31 Fails to Recreate Irishman’s Past Successes

Published 06/06/2023, 12:45 PM EDT

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Conor McGregor‘s return is one of the most anticipated bouts in the history of the UFC. ‘The Notorious’ has already sent shockwaves in the media owing to his comeback as a coach in The Ultimate Fighter 31 alongside Michael Chandler. The former UFC double champ is geared up to make the appearance on screen. One may also assume that such an appearance is likely to bring a huge amount of eyeballs to the UFC.

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However, there is a bittersweet reality regarding such an assumption. According to reports, fans would be shocked to know the viewership numbers for this season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler’s TUF gets 294K average views, less than Irishman’s previous TUF appearance

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Despite Conor McGregor’s highly anticipated comeback, TUF 31 has failed to capture the attention of fans and viewers. This happens in the middle of UFC-ESPN’s massive $2.1 billion deal over 7 years.

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Additionally, it is pertinent to note that Conor McGregor’s previous TUF appearance with Uriah Faber as the opposite coach garnered 622,000 average viewers according to a report.

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The popularity of TUF has waned over the years. There are several factors that have contributed to its decline despite the substantial investment in the sport by the UFC and ESPN. One possible reason is the oversaturation of MMA content.

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With the rise of streaming services, fans are spoilt for choice when it comes to watching MMA. Consequently, the appeal of TUF has diminished despite showcasing new MMA talents.

Despite TUF 31 being a “tough” experience, Michael Chandler shares his views on the show

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Conor McGregor’s opponent Michael Chandler had some interesting take on this season’s TUF. The UFC lightweight fighter said, “The biggest eye-opener was it was much harder than I thought it was going to be. Partly because I think I cared a little bit too much.”

Additionally, he added, “So, it was a tough experience but it was a lot of fun and a very fulfilling experience for me. Because I think I was able to pour into these guys a lot and it was a lot of fun.”

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It remains to be seen if TUF 31’s numbers would increase as the season progresses. What do you think about Conor McGregor’s TUF 31 numbers? Let us know in the comments.

WATCH THIS STORY: Conor McGregor losses- the only time ‘The Notorious’ lost in UFC and MMA

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Written by:

Faizan Mirza

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One take at a time

Faizan Mirza is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. With a keen eye for analyzing the striking skills of MMA fighters, Faizan uses his expertise to break down fights, providing insightful commentary that is both informative and entertaining for combat sports fans. Faizan's article on Nate Diaz's remarks to Michael Chandler about Conor McGregor was particularly well-received, showcasing Faizan's talent for uncovering the lesser-known aspects of the sport.
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Edited by:

Sherjeel Malik

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