Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler are two of the nicest guys in the division. Despite fighting some of the most notable names in the division, Poirier has always kept his calm and so had Michael Chandler. Be that as it may, when both these fighters share the Octagon on November 12 at UFC 281, it’s safe to say there will be some tension.
“I think it started maybe in Abu Dhabi whenever they asked me about fighting him. And was kind of brushed it off. He took that like I was disrespecting him and then since then, you know, we’re in the same division, we’re on collision course, this is fighting, that’s just what it is.” Poirier said in a conversation with Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports.
If we look at the history behind this rivalry and how it all started, it has to do with Poirier’s comments after Michael Chandler was named as the backup fighter for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje back at UFC 254. Poirier, who was fresh off a five-round war against Dan Hooker, felt like Chandler did not do enough to earn that opportunity. The former Bellator Champion hadn’t even made his UFC debut by then.
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After all, Chandler‘s first fight under UFC came several months later at UFC 257. Poirier argued, someone who had been fighting in the UFC deserved that opportunity and it’s not to agree with the former interim lightweight champion.
The rivalry between Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler
Following Poirier’s comments, Chandler did not have high praise for Poirier whenever he was asked about the fellow UFC lightweight. While their first meeting was cordial, Poirier felt Chandler’s comments painted him in a different picture, so when they came face to face at UFC 276, Diamond did not mince words and called him “fake”.