Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Sonnen: “Nothing Bigger” Than Poirier vs. Chandler Right Now

There’s any number of exciting matchups that could be made in the UFC’s talent-stacked lightweight division, but Chael Sonnen thinks there’s one fight that stands above the rest.

Speaking on his YouTube channel this week, Sonnen weighed-in on Michael Chandler not mentioning Dustin Poirier in his fiery UFC 274 post-fight speech.

“Dustin Poirier first off is a very calm guy, he’s a very nice guy,” Sonnen said. “He’s very hard to work up…when’s the last time Dustin Poirier’s been worked up? Think about championship matches, think about sold out arenas, think about Pay-Per-Views on his back. You ever seen Dustin Poirier get mad?”

Chandler called out several prospective opponents after his KO victory against Tony Ferguson at UFC 274. That list included rematches with Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje as well as a bout with Conor McGregor, but there was no mention of Poirier.

According to Sonnen, that omission may have been enough to get the former interim lightweight champion’s attention.

Michael Chandler notably left Dustin Poirier out of his post-fight speech at UFC 274. (Getty Images)

“Poirier is pissed that Poirier wasn’t called out. Michael Chandler did not insult Dustin Poirier, which insulted Poirier… He is fighting mad. He is angry and disrespected that he was not insulted.”

“The Diamond” is coming off a third-round submission loss in a failed bid for the lightweight title against Charles Oliveira last December. That was his second shot at the belt after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019. In between those title shots, he earned a decision over Dan Hooker and stopped Conor McGregor twice.

Despite Chandler claiming he’s not interested in fighting Poirier, Sonnen believes a matchup between the two is the clear fight to make.

“There’s a number of things you can do with Dustin, there’s a number of things that you can do with Michael Chandler. Those guys are in a really good spot right now. But there’s nothing bigger in this exact moment than that.”

Chandler’s highlight-reel finish of Tony Ferguson brought his UFC record to 2-2 since joining the promotion from Bellator in 2021. He challenged for the lightweight title in his second UFC bout, losing to Charles Oliveira by second-round stoppage.

Oliveira was victorious in his UFC 274 matchup with Justin Gaethje, but was stripped of his lightweight belt due to missing weight. A matchup between Chandler and Poirier could very well earn the winner a rematch against “Do Bronx” for the vacant lightweight title.

What’s your reaction to Sonnen’s comments? Is Poirier vs. Chandler the fight to make?

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