It has been two years since The Ultimate Fighter last aired a new season. That was Heavy Hitters, which featured Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum as coaches.
UFC president Dana White has been talking about the series making a comeback soon on ESPN. The coaches for the comeback have yet to be revealed, but White recently admitted that he was targeting Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor for the reboot... until McGregor sent it sideways.
White said that his recent exchange with McGregor, who outed a private messaging conversation between the two of them from earlier this year, pushed matters too far for Khabib, who has since nixed the idea.
“(Khabib) was gonna do (The Ultimate Fighter) until Conor did all this s--t,” White told Barstool Sports in a recent interview. “That’s what I was saying. I felt like I was in a good place and we were going to get that done.
“We were going to do The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN and f---ing do the rematch, but Conor blew that.”
Even though White characterized McGregor's recent outing of their private conversation as breaking the man code, he says it was Khabib who said he was done with McGregor, at least for The Ultimate Fighter, once that whole situation went public.
“Yeah, Khabib said f--- him,” White declared. “That was it.”
Having Khabib and McGregor coach opposite each other would have certainly produced massive numbers for a reboot of the venerable series, which is often credited with saving the UFC from extinction.
Just bringing the show back to air after a two-year hiatus, however, will likely also produce strong viewership. But now White will have to move on to Plan B, though he hasn't admitted to having one just yet.
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