What would you learn from Michael Chandler?
If I am on Michael Chandler ‘s team, it’s a completely new system so, just like the first time I did the show, I got to see the style training that DC has. This time I get to see Kill Cliff and how Michael Chandler does things, which is going to bring on a lot of knowledge. He is a former champion and he’s been around a very long time and he has great coaches with him. The Kill Cliff staff are fantastic. They produced top level talent. They fought at the highest of levels, so to have those guys, it’s a new system, and it’s all information that I can extract and squeeze and I am certainly looking forward to that.
What would you learn from Conor McGregor?
I’m teammates with Conor, but having him as a coach where he’s going to be watching my possible opponents, he has a very keen eye and that’s why he was able to knock out José Aldo in 13 seconds. It’s the same thing with Eddie Alvarez; he has a very, very keen eye, and yes, he brings composure and a great skill set and all of that into the cage, but he can watch fighters and pick out key details, so having him as a coach would be quite exciting because it’s something that I haven’t been able to tap into but I would be able to now.
What do you think is going to be your toughest challenge in making it to the end?
The first time, I tried to enjoy it as much as possible because it’s a meat grinder in the house. You don’t think it is when you’re doing it and you think, it’s fine, it’s fine, and then you realize at the end of it how burnt out you are. It’s just all the little stuff. You’re always on edge slightly, you’re never fully relaxed, you’re never fully yourself, you’re never fully switched off. You have to be mindful and do that as much as you can and find your routine and just enjoy the process and enjoy waking up. How alien it is to wake up in a mansion, on a reality show, there’s a camera over there, camera over there, you put on your microphone, and they call you for an interview and it’s just enjoying how completely strange and alien that is. Also, it’s been something I’ve been watching since season one, so it’s been over half my life of watching this show, and finally being here, I know I’ve succeeded. The first time was just enjoying it, and then this time I have to make sure that I do that again. What’s difficult this time around is I have all of those preconceived notions from last time – the good, the bad, the challenges – and I have to make sure that doesn’t cloud my enjoyment of it or give me false expectations. It’s a completely different show this time, so it’s not going to be just like last time. It’s not, it’s gonna be completely new and so I’m just gonna just enjoy it.
Before The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler Preview Show
Why are you going to be the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 31?
It all comes down to choices. You know it all comes down to choices over your career and what you’ve done when there’s been setbacks or successes and my systems just being slightly different than everyone else’s. I don’t mean that by pushing others’ process, but if you look at my fights, I’m different every single time. It’s not the same old. I go from getting out wrestled by Merab (Dvalishvili) to fighting high-level wrestlers and shutting them down flat-out numerous times in my last fight. That was a separation, but that work was done right after that Merab fight and that’s the difference. That’s what I’ve been each time – there’s exponential growth and I believe that’s why come fight day I bring it, and when I bring me, it generally works out. That’s why I’m gonna be the champ-champ.