The Ultimate Fighter season 31, coached by Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler debuts at an average of 294,000 viewers.

Last Tuesday marked the return of McGregor coaching on TUF, eight years on from his first season (22) when he was pitted against Urijah Faber. Recent viewing figures revealed that it averaged close to 300,000 viewers and was the 11th most popular show that day. According to the Nielsen rating system, the episode received .14 market shared in the 18–49-year-old demographic.

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These figures are down considerably from McGregor’s first appearance on the show, the debuting episode of season 22 reached an average viewership of 622,000. However, the viewership numbers are still up considerably from the last available figures for a season of TUF, which was season 28. Robert Whittaker coached opposite Kelvin Gastelum and their debuting episode averaged 186,000.

The next episode of the series is set to air later tonight and will pick up following Roosevelt Roberts eight-second knockout of Nate Jennerman. This series difference from previous as it has not just rising prospects, but also features former UFC fighters such as Roberts, who are looking for a way back to the promotion.

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Conor McGregor’s return to fighting

When news broke that McGregor would be coaching on TUF, it seemed that we would definitely get a fight along with it at some point this year. However, even with the first episode having aired, McGregor has not even re-entered back into the USADA testing pool, which he would have to do to be eligible to fight in the UFC.

Even with both UFC President Dana White and McGregor himself having been insistent on an announcement coming soon, nothing seems imminent and ‘The Notorious’ does not appear to be in training camp.

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Are you enjoying Conor McGregor’s new season of The Ultimate Fighter?