ESPN and the UFC continue to air “TUF 31” despite the sexual assault allegations against Conor McGregor.

The fourth episode of Season 31 of “The Ultimate Fighter” will air on Tuesday night, continuing the UFC and ESPN’s commitment to highlighting MMA’s most prominent star despite the cloud of yet another sexual assault allegation hovering over Conor McGregor.

On “TUF 31,” which has been broadcast on ESPN every week since May 30 and is scheduled to run through August 15, McGregor, 34, is presently paired up as a coach with lightweight contender and former Bellator champion Michael Chandler.

When asked if the network had considered canceling “TUF 31” or changing the show’s presentation in light of the sexual assault claim against McGregor, two ESPN spokespersons refused an MMA Junkie request for comment. A UFC spokesperson didn’t respond to MMA Junkie when asked if the promotion would reconsider the continuation of “TUF 31” given the optics of the situation.

Conor McGregor accused of raping woman in toilet

The UFC said in a previous statement that it would “continue to gather additional details regarding the incident” and “allow the legal process to play out before making any additional statements.”

A woman has accused McGregor of “violently” raping her on June 10 in Miami while she was watching the NBA Finals Game 4. The alleged sexual assault occurred inside a men’s bathroom at Kaseya Center, where McGregor made a promotional appearance in which he knocked out the Miami Heat mascot during the game.

The lady was allegedly subjected to oral sex abuse at the hands of McGregor, who also made an attempt to sodomize her while they were alone in a restroom stall, according to the stated victim’s attorney, Ariel Mitchell. Cell phone video from that night shows McGregor directing security to block off the bathroom and create a pathway before he takes the woman, whom he’d met earlier in the night, by the hand and leads her inside. There also is video of McGregor and his accuser together at an arena club after the alleged sexual assault.

Mitchell said in a demand letter submitted to McGregor, the Heat, and the NBA that her client is merely looking for settlements from all three parties rather than pursuing legal action. McGregor has vehemently denied the allegation, with attorney Barbara R. Llanes calling it “no more than a shakedown.”

The UFC and ESPN may not have expected a ratings boost from McGregor’s comeback. The premiere episode averaged 294,000 viewers, according to Nielsen, finishing No. 11 overall on cable and earning a .14 share among the coveted 18-to-49 year old demographic. With McGregor serving as the coach, “TUF 22” premiered in 2015 on FS1 to an average audience of 622,000.

McGregor has been accused of sexual assault multiple times before – twice in 2019 in March and October of that year in Ireland; September 2020 in Corsica, which later was dropped; and in 2021 he faced a lawsuit for an alleged 2018 incident. Earlier this year in January, McGregor was accused of attacking a woman on a yacht in Ibiza. He’s not faced legal punishment in any of those cases.

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