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Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler are set to star as the coaches on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter.
The show will air on ESPN, per UFC president Dana White, who broke the news today on UFC’s social media channels. Given the reach and magnitude of McGregor’s star power, it makes sense that the program will air on ESPN instead of ESPN+. The series will premiere on Tuesday, May 30, according to sources.
Once this season of The Ultimate Fighter concludes, it will lead to a fight pitting McGregor against Chandler. The build to it, undoubtedly, will be as noteworthy as any fight in 2023. McGregor is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, and this will mark his return to the Octagon for the first time since July 2021. Chandler has dropped two out of his last three bouts, but every single one of his fights in the UFC has been must-see. This has the making of a phenomenal fight, and it will be particularly interesting how McGregor looks after his time away from the cage.
Another important piece of news shared by White is that UFC 287 has a home.
Miami-Dade Arena in Miami, Florida will host UFC 287 on April 8. The event, headlined by a middleweight title rematch pitting Alex Pereira against Israel Adesanya, marks UFC’s return to Miami for the first time since 2003.
Adesanya had won his first 23 fights at middleweight in remarkable fashion, but that streak came to a crashing halt against Pereira. The two also share a backstory, as Pereira twice defeated Adesanya in kickboxing. Their first MMA bout took place last November at Madison Square Garden, when Pereira defeated Adesanya–and took his title–with a fifth round TKO.
In addition to Pereira’s first defense of the middleweight title, the 287 card also includes Jorge Masvidal against Gilbert Burns. One of Miami’s most popular fighters, Masvidal will look to re-enter the win column and put himself in contention for the welterweight title. Given their history, Masvidal could make a compelling opponent for reigning champ Leon Edwards–but he has already lost twice to Kamaru Usman, who has a rematch for the belt against Edwards in March. Burns has already lost to Usman, but he has yet to match up against Edwards.