Friday, August 19, 2022

Michael Chandler Tells His Side Of Poirier UFC 276 Altercation

UFC lightweight Michael Chandler has slammed Dustin Poirier’s behavior while sharing his side of their fiery UFC 276 altercation.

The duo were separated by security cageside at UFC 276 after engaging in a heated exchange that quickly went viral on social media. The incident was the culmination of simmering tensions between Chandler and Poirier, who had regularly gone back and forth in the media in the preceding months.

In an interview with DC&RC earlier this month, Poirier shared his thoughts on the incident, explaining that “if I have something to say, I’m gonna say it when the person’s present.” Now, Chandler has shared his side of the story, and has provided a much more detailed version of events.

Speaking to press at UFC London, the #5 ranked lightweight shared how the incident kicked off as he and his wife were walking to their seats at the T-Mobile Arena.

“I walked down there with my beautiful wife, who’s here with me in London, and we had our seats and we were walking over there and the security guards came over and basically said something to the effect of ‘Hey, he’s [Chandler] not going to sit over there,’ and I thought ‘OK, that’s interesting.’ We walked over and all of a sudden, I heard some chirping…some very vile venom being spit in my direction. I look over and Dustin Poirier’s pointing at me, so he obviously had a bone to pick with me that night,” said Chandler.

(Jeff Bottari/Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Chandler said that if Poirier’s intention was to set up a future Octagon encounter, he didn’t go about it the right way.

“It’s no secret he’s made it known that he’s ready for a fight,” said Chandler. “He’s very, very thirsty for a fight, so he’s looking for everybody and anybody to throw venom at. I was the target that night and I was just trying to watch some fights with my wife.

“So, if you think that’s the way you’re going to get a fight with me, that’s the absolute opposite way to get a fight with me. I’m not here to get into physical altercations in a public forum, especially with my wife.”

Chandler Gives Poirier A Lesson in Cageside Etiquette

It’s fair to say that Chandler, who’s known as one of the most respectful fighters on the UFC roster, wasn’t impressed by Poirier’s behavior that night. The 36-year-old said that prior to the incident, Dustin wasn’t even on his radar as a potential next opponent.

“[I] completely rolled my eyes,” said Chandler. “I didn’t even really want to fight him from the very beginning. I honestly thought Beneil Dariush being on the win streak that he was [on]…he was in a number one contender fight with him and Islam before he got injured…that was the fight that I thought I would like to have to get me closer to the title than a guy like Dustin, who’s talking about retiring.

“He might have one foot out the door, he’s talking about going up to 170…does he still have that itch that we all have? We all want to be champion, he’s maybe trying to collect a paycheck, we don’t know.”

Finally, Chandler delivered some choice advice for Poirier on how a fighter should handle themselves in public.

“But yeah, it was definite eye rolling and… number one, be a professional, you know? We fight in a cage for money…you don’t need to get into a verbal altercation in front of my wife and the fans at T-Mobile arena to prove you’re a tough guy,” said Chandler.

What do you think of Michael Chandler’s take on his altercation with Dustin Poirier?

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