The Ultimate Fighter 31: Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler Episode 10 results
Brad Katona is back in The Ultimate Fighter finals.
Five years ago, Katona (12-2) emerged as the winner of TUF 27 competing at featherweight and he now has the chance to become the first-ever two-time winner of the long-running reality show after advancing to the TUF 31 bantamweight final with a split decision win over Timur Valiev (18-3, 1 NC).
It was a thrilling battle this week as former Team Chandler teammates Katona and Valiev threw down for three bloody rounds as both had cuts opened up on their heads during the contest. Katona was covered in crimson after the first five minutes, while Valiev was busted open in Round 2. The blood nearly overshadowed a fine technical contest that saw Katona score with strong counters and Valiev doing damage with leg kicks and nasty combinations.
The wrestling was a stalemate as both showed great technique, with Katona digging in for double leg attempts and Valiev utilizing trips and slick grappling to turn the tables.
In a Fight of the Night-worthy contest, it was Katona who the judges deemed to have done enough to advance in the bantamweight tournament. He awaits the winner of the Rico DiSciullo vs. Cody Gibson semifinal.
Katona’s win gave Conor McGregor something to celebrate after an opening round that saw his team score just one win in eight tries. Though Katona wasn’t originally a Team McGregor selection, he switched sides to train with them ahead of his fight with Valiev, both to avoid an awkward training situation and to join the coaching staff he regularly works with outside of TUF. Katona’s home gym is SBG Ireland alongside McGregor and coach John Kavanagh.
Next week, we find out who our other lightweight finalist will be as Team Chandler fighters Jason Knight and Kurt Holobaugh face off. The winner goes on to fight Austin Hubbard at the finale.
The Ultimate Fighter 31 airs live every Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+.
Following the season finale, Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler are expected to face off in a welterweight bout at a date still to be determined. However, the matchup is yet to be made official and recent sexual assault accusations against McGregor as well as the former two-division champion still dealing with the USADA have left his future competitive status unclear.
The finalists of the TUF 31 lightweight and bantamweight tournaments will also compete for a six-figure UFC contract at a future show. A date for the finals is yet to be announced.
Here is the TUF 31 roster divided by team:
Team McGregor (prospects)
- Lee Hammond (27, 5-0)
- Nate Jennerman (29, 16-5)
- Aaron McKenzie (34, 11-2-1)
- Landon Quinones (27, 7-1-1)
- Mando Gutierrez (26, 8-2)
- Trevor Wells (27, 8-3)
- Carlos Vera (35, 11-3)
- Rico DiSciullo (36, 11-2, 1 NC)
Team Chandler (veterans)
- Jason Knight (30, 23-7)
- Austin Hubbard (31, 15-6)
- Roosevelt Roberts (28, 12-3, 1 NC)
- Kurt Holobaugh (36, 19-7, 1 NC)
- Hunter Azure (31, 10-3)
- Brad Katona (31, 12-2)
- Timur Valiev (33, 18-3, 1 NC)
- Cody Gibson (35, 19-8)
Here are the quarterfinal results:
- Roosevelt Roberts def. Nate Jennerman via first-round KO
- Cody Gibson def. Mando Gutierrez via first-round TKO
- Austin Hubbard def. Aaron McKenzie via unanimous decision
- Timur Valiev def. Trevor Wells via unanimous decision
- Brad Katona def. Carlos Vera via unanimous decision
- Kurt Holobaugh def. Lee Hammond via second-round submission (guillotine choke)
- Jason Knight def. Landon Quinones via first-round submission (triangle choke)
- Rico DiSciullo def. Hunter Azure via second-round KO
Here are the semi-final results and matchups:
- Austin Hubbard def. Roosevelt Roberts via split decision
- Brad Katona def. Timur Valiev via split decision
- Jason Knight vs. Kurt Holobaugh
- Rico DiSciullo vs. Cody Gibson
Advanced to finals: Hubbard, Katona
Advanced to semifinals: Roberts, Gibson, Hubbard, Valiev, Katona, Holobaugh, Knight, DiSciullo
Eliminated: Jennerman, Gutierrez, McKenzie, Wells, Vera, Hammond, Quinones, Azure, Roberts, Valiev