We’re three weeks into ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Season 31, and Michael Chandler‘s team has gotten the better of the team coached by Conor McGregor for the third week in a row.

Team Chandler’s Austin Hubbard followed up back-to-back first-round knockouts by his teammates Roosevelt Roberts and Cody Gibson with a dominant victory of his own, a unanimous decision win over Team McGregor’s Aaron McKenzie. With the win, Hubbard clinched a spot in the lightweight semifinals.

Let’s look at the biggest moments from Episode 3 and the fight coming next week.

Editor’s note: The matchups for this season are determined by seeding. This season, the coaches ranked their competitors in each division first through fourth. After the seeding was determined, the matchups were made in a tournament-style bracket.

Lightweight: (2) Austin Hubbard, Team Chandler vs. (3) Aaron McKenzie, Team McGregor

Hubbard beats McKenzie by unanimous decision

Hubbard fell short of getting a knockout like his teammates, Roberts and Gibson, but his win over McKenzie was equally as dominant as he controlled the fight en route to a unanimous decision win.

Before appearing on TUF, Hubbard last fought in Caged Aggression. Hubbard was on the UFC roster from 2019 to 2021, going 3-4 under the promotion. He trains with UFC fighters Justin Gaethje, Drew Dober and Neil Magny at Elevation Fight Team in Colorado.

Hubbard had some issues to iron out when he was cut from the UFC roster, but his time away from the promotion and his work with Team Chandler helped him prepare for another chance at signing with the UFC.

Storylines to watch

Team Chandler is in sync

It’s evident that Chandler has fully bought into being a coach. Because of his level of investment in the fighters, they have bought into Chandler and his staff’s approach.

In an episode of ‘After TUF,’ Chandler mentioned the importance of fully investing in coaching his fighters. He even considers what he wears when with them and the message his attire could send. Rather than wearing clothes that he might generally wear in these settings, Chandler said he chooses to wear TUF apparel when working with his team as a subtle reminder that they are all on the same level and working toward the same goal.

“Even management [and] my wife always said, ‘Why are you always wearing the jersey? Why don’t you dress up?'”, Chandler said in an interview on ‘After TUF.’ “It’s like what you do subconsciously is so much deeper than what you say. Show them don’t just tell them. Me showing up. Me always wearing the jersey. Yeah, it’s got my name on it, but that is a representation of our time together. Our belief in each other. If you can’t just show up, how are you going to expect these guys to perform?”

“I wanted to be there in the trenches with them, training with them. Be there for them not just physically, but mentally and spiritually… I was going to show them that I was willing to put in the work as a coach… It’s about them.”

That connectivity has paid off with three straight wins for Team Chandler to start the season.

Can Conor course correct his prospects?

Team McGregor continues to struggle in the Octagon. Although the team appears to be connecting well, and the fighters seem to have no problem with their coaching staff’s approach, their formula has yet to result in any wins.

It’s still early in the first round of fights, but it’s fair to question if McGregor is the right fighter to coach these prospects. When McGregor last coached on TUF, eight years ago on Season 22, he had similar struggles in the first round of fights before having a run of success through the semifinals.

Plenty of questions come to mind with this situation.

How long could we go without seeing a Team McGregor fighter getting their hand raised? What adjustments will he and his coaching staff have to make to get in the win column? We know McGregor doesn’t always have the easiest time controlling his emotions, how will he react if his team keeps piling up losses?

Next week’s matchup

Bantamweight: (3) Timur Valiev, Team Chandler vs. (2) Trevor Wells, Team McGregor

Here’s everything we know about these two fighters:

Timur Valiev
Record: 18-3
UFC record: 2-1, 1 NC
Age: 33
Fighting out of: Dagestan, Russia
• Lost to Shore at UFC Fight Night in March 2022
• UFC win over Barcelos
• Competed in the first PFL season in 2017
• Fought in World Series of Fighting from 2014 to 2016
• Went 1-1 against UFC fighter Chris Gutierrez in WSOF

Trevor Wells
Record: 8-3
UFC record: N/A
Age: 27
Fighting out of: Murrieta, California
• Last fight was with Urijah Faber‘s A1 Combat
• Riding a three-fight winning streak