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Kurt Holobaugh in a lightweight fight during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter at UFC Apex on March 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
The Ultimate Fighter

Episode 11 Recap | The Ultimate Fighter Season 31

Catch Up On Everything That Happened On The Eleventh Episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler.
After TUF | Episode 11: The Ultimate Fighter Season 31
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After TUF | Episode 11: The Ultimate Fighter Season 31
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PREVIOUSLY ON THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER

UFC veteran Austin Hubbard became the first lightweight finalist after edging out fellow Team Chandler representative Roosevelt Roberts, while TUF 27 winner Brad Katona continued his push to make history as the first two-time winner of the show with a three-round decision win over Timur Valiev.

Now, a pair of Team Chandler representatives meet once more, with Jason Knight and Kurt Holobaugh facing off to determine who will face Hubbard in the lightweight finale.

RECAP PREVIOUS EPISODES OF TUF: Episode 1 Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10

It’s the penultimate episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Chandler!

TUF HOUSE

Jason Knight and Kurt Holobaugh talk about how they’re likely to shed blood inside the cage when they square off in the second lightweight semifinal. They’ve become friendly in the house but were also supposed to fight years ago prior to each reaching the UFC. It never came together, and now they are each looking forward to banging it out with one another with a spot in the finals on the line.

Holobaugh says he expects it to be a “Stephan Bonnar-Forrest Griffin-type fight” when they get in there. They talk about throwing 500 punches each, saying if they don’t hit that mark, “We didn’t do our job.”

TEAM CHANDLER FIGHT PREP

Knight and Holobaugh get prepared for their contest, and it’s comparable to when Hubbard and Roberts faced off — Chandler is kind of staying out of it, with Coach Jason Strout doing mitts with each guy.

RECAP EVERYTHING HAPPENING ON TUF

They’ve been training side-by-side with each other and feel really familiar with one another, with Knight expecting non-stop forward pressure from Holobaugh and him playing the matador.

Both guys feel a little bad for standing in the way of someone they’ve become friendly with that is chasing the same dream, but Chandler and Holobaugh break it down perfectly, acknowledging that it sucks, but is part of the game.

Michael Chandler during a lightweight fight during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter at UFC Apex on March 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Michael Chandler during a lightweight fight during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter at UFC Apex on March 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Holobaugh envisions a high-output battle where his pace and constant pressure eventually gets to Knight, and Chandler sees the difference between the two being Knight’s output and Holobaugh’s power. He calls it “one of the most evenly matched fights we could have on The Ultimate Fighter,” and he is absolutely right in that assessment.

Later in the evening, McGregor rolls into the UFC APEX for the Coaches Challenge. No one knows what the competition is going to be be, with members of Team McGregor breaking down the reasons for their uncertainty, as it’s taking place at night, at the APEX, where previous challenges were often outdoors or in alternate locations.

How To Watch TUF 31

As they head into the arena itself, Dana White, Bruce Buffer, and Brookliyn Wren are onstage, with two cold tubs positioned behind them.

White explains that it’s “Cold Plunge Trivia” — Buffer will be the host, the winning coach gets $10,000 and the members of the winning team get $1500 each.

Buffer gives the contest a grand introduction and the coaches get into their freezing cold tubs, ready to answer some trivia. Chandler admits that he doesn’t retain trivia information, and McGregor calls himself “UFC history,” expressing confidence in winning the competition.

RELATED: All TUF 31 Recaps, Coaches Interviews, And More

Round One will be about UFC history, Round Two will focus on The Ultimate Fighter, and Round 3 will have Buffer asking the coaches questions about one another.

They get into the 39F tub and Chandler acknowledges that he’s a shaker when he gets into the water, which prompts McGregor to give him the gears.

McGregor gets out to a 5-3 lead after Round 1 and maintains his lead heading into Round 3, with Chandler trailing 10-8. Every question in the final round is worth two points, so Chandler can win this by getting more correct answers than his adversary.

Look Back At July's Biggest Moments

Chandler ties it up, and McGregor has the final question — if he gets it right, he wins; if not, we’re off to a fourth round. McGregor gets the answer correct, winning the competition for his team.

Chandler laments losing, but points out his side has been awfully successful overall throughout this competition, while McGregor shows off the roll of bills he won, and the roll of bills he brought with him to the facility.

Kurt Holobaugh before a lightweight fight during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter at UFC Apex on March 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Kurt Holobaugh before a lightweight fight during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter at UFC Apex on March 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

LIGHTWEIGHT WEIGH-IN

The Team Chandler semifinals step on the scale, with Knight making lightweight championship weight, 155 pounds, and Holobaugh coming in half-a-pound higher. The two say a prayer together before going their separate ways.

Everyone is pumped for “The Battle of the Bayou,” and the team heads back to the house.

TUF HOUSE

Knight calls home and is greeted by a bunch of his family, including his girlfriend and stepdaughter. His brother correctly guesses that he’s facing Holobaugh and Knight promises both men will come out of the cage leaking. He acknowledges how much the call home lifted his spirits.

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Holobaugh gets his call and has to fight back tears as he speaks with his family. His son tearfully tells him that he grappled for the first time without him, and the tears keep flowing as Holobaugh tells his wife he’s through to the semifinals.

Special Announcement From Dana White | August 8, 2023
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Special Announcement From Dana White | August 8, 2023
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FIGHT DAY

It’s Mississippi versus Louisiana, Knight versus Holobaugh, with a spot in the finals opposite Hubbard on the line.

Both men roll into the facility, get loose, get taped up, and get ready to do battle. Now all that is left is to get after it.

Jason Knight vs. Kurt Holobaugh

What a fight!

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Holobaugh came out of the gates sprinting, hitting Knight with some big blows that left him leaking and clearly bolstered Holobaugh’s confidence. Knight started to find his range and land some good shots of his own, but Holobaugh never stopped coming forward. Knight endured for as long as he could, but the power coming at him was too much, as Holobaugh battered him along the fence, sending him to the canvas and forcing the stoppage.

This was an outstanding performance from Holobaugh, who moves forward to face Austin Hubbard in the finale.

Kurt Holobaugh Discusses His Semi-Final Win | The Ultimate Fighter Season 31
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Kurt Holobaugh Discusses His Semi-Final Win | The Ultimate Fighter Season 31
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Official Result: Kurt Holobaugh def. Jason Knight by TKO (strikes) in Round 2

Everyone is impressed with the battle between the two and the friends share a nice moment in the cage following the stoppage and again later in the dressing room. Dana calls it “the fight of the season,” praising both men’s willingness to stand in there and bomb away on one another, accepting the punishment coming their way.

Chandler talks about Holobaugh’s effort, suggesting he’s been playing possum a little or been underrated as he’s a quiet guy. Chandler speaks with Holobaugh afterwards, calling his performance “masterful” and pumping him up.

Make Your Match: Build Your Dream Fight Card For A Chance To Win

Knight is accepting of the outcome before getting transported to the hospital, promising that he’ll make it back to the UFC regardless of the outcome of this fight.

Michael Chandler Reacts To Kurt Holobaugh's Win | The Ultimate Fighter Season 31
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Michael Chandler Reacts To Kurt Holobaugh's Win | The Ultimate Fighter Season 31
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ON THE SEASON FINALE OF THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER

Chandler and McGregor take similar, but differing approaches to spending time with their teams before the season wraps, both opting for dinner as a group, with Chandler hosting a crawfish boil and McGregor taking the team out for steaks before staking them some chips to gamble with.

And then in the final bout of the season, Rico DiSciullo looks to make sure it’s not an all-Chandler finale as he takes on Cody Gibson in a fight to determine who will face off with Katona in the finale.