TUF 31: Meet Team Conor McGregor coaches

Team Conor McGregor
Team Conor McGregor / Instagram

Conor McGregor keeps it simple with his coaching staff for The Ultimate Fighter 31.

Conor McGregor continues to show tremendous confidence in himself, keeping with his normal coaching staff for The Ultimate Fighter 31. This could be McGregor taking a more hands-on approach to coaching his team this season, but there will be plenty of work to go around.

McGregor has always been known for staying loyal to his team. They had astronomical success together, and it only makes sense for them to keep everything the same. Some argue McGregor should have trained at other gyms later in his career, but he remained with SBG and his main coaches before starting his own brand. Here is a quick look at the other two coaches representing Team McGregor.

1. John Kavanaugh

John Kavanaugh overcame his 3-3 MMA record by shifting to coaching. He and McGregor clearly have a special relationship. While Kavanaugh honed in on the body and mind, McGregor honed in on the money. Together, they made sweet harmony. Fast forward to 2023, McGregor makes his return to The Ultimate Fighter and will keep his right-hand man on his coaching staff.

The most impressive part of Kavanaugh's career is what he's been able to do for the sport in Ireland. Not only does he promote fights for Euro Fight Night, but he is the man who put Ireland MMA on the map. He is now the president of the Irish Amateur MMA organization and was the first Irishman to receive a black belt in BJJ.

The new Netflix documentary McGregor Forever goes deep into Kavanaugh and McGregor's struggles during the pandemic and post-COVID era. TUF 31 is a major step for Team McGregor, who are not only coaching this season, but also get a fight later in 2023, which has been a major hurdle for them over the last few years.

2. Owen Roddy

Owen Roddy is primarily known for being one of McGregor's coaches and owning SBG Charlestown. What do Roddy and McGregor have in common? They both came up through Kavanaugh. While McGregor became a fighter, Roddy became a coach.

Roddy had a 11-4 MMA record before retiring. His most recent loss was in 2012 against a young Wilson Reis at Cage Warriors 50. Before that, he was on a seven-fight win streak while fighting in Ireland and the UK.

Originally from the United Kingdom, and similar to Kavanaugh, Roddy is praised by his peers for popularizing MMA in Ireland. They both are true pioneers of the sport and there is an obvious shared goal amongst Roddy, Kavanaugh, and McGregor which keeps them together in Ireland.

McGregor has been vocal about his appreciation for Roddy as a coach and mentor, and now Team McGregor will, hopefully, have a similar experience on TUF 31.

3. Phil Sutcliffe Sr.

Continuing the trend of homegrown talent in McGregor’s camp, Phil Sutcliffe Sr. is one of the most notable names in Irish boxing history. Not only does Sutcliffe have four national boxing titles in three different weight classes, but he also appeared at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.

Sutcliffe currently runs the Crumlin Boxing Club in Dublin, Ireland, and is McGregor’s go-to for boxing training. They have been together since McGregor was 10 years old, and Team McGregor will be hungry to learn from the man who helped McGregor become one of the best boxers in MMA history.

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The Ultimate Fighter 31 will premiere on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, and will air exclusively on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your live results and highlights.