Thursday, August 11, 2022

Chandler Provides Evidence He Wants LW Title More Than Poirier

UFC lightweight Michael Chandler believes that his desire to reach the lightweight throne burns a lot more than that of former interim champion Dustin Poirier.

When it comes to blossoming rivalries on MMA’s biggest stage, not much has become as heated as the animosity between top-five 155lbers Poirier and Chandler. While the former Bellator titleholder has held a grudge ever since “The Diamond” doubted his title credentials pre-UFC 262, the feeling has well and truly become mutual.

At UFC 276 earlier this month, the pair almost came to blows Octagon-side prior to the main card, with security having to drag Chandler away as Poirier pointed and yelled in his direction.

While Chandler has previously dismissed Poirier as a potential opponent owing to the Louisianan’s comments, he now appears ready and willing to go through the #2-ranked contender if it gets him closer to his ultimate goal: the lightweight gold.

And although it seems that Poirier is beginning to return to a similar ambition, Chandler firmly believes that it pales in comparison to his own championship aspirations.

Chandler Reminds Poirier About Retirement Comments

During an interaction with the media at London’s The O2 this past weekend, Chandler assessed his next step having seen desired opponent Beneil Dariush booked opposite Mateusz Gamrot for UFC 280 in October.

After noting that, despite their in-person altercation and online back and forth, he still has respect for Poirier, Chandler did doubt whether his rival shares the same hunger as him, citing the Louisianan’s post-fight reaction following his defeat to Charles Oliveira as evidence.

“All personal attacks aside, all personal vendettas aside, I respect him and he respects me. That’s the foundation by which we build on,” Chandler said. “He’s one of the best in the world, I’m one of the best in the world. I believe I’m going to be world champion, he believes he still can be world champion — although I believe that I believe that more than he does.

“He’s talked about going up to 170. He’s talked about retiring. He’s said those words. I’ve not said those words one second. So, the UFC gold will be mine,” Chandler added. “If Dustin Poirier is next to get to that, so be it.”

After his journey back to a second shot at undisputed lightweight gold ended in another devastating submission defeat last December, Poirier was honest about his motivation and future, suggesting that another drop to 155 pounds was unlikely, and that the only matchup that interested him was against Nate Diaz at welterweight.

While we’re now months on from those remarks, and Poirier appears to have found a fresh dose of title hunger, Chandler has a clear memory about where a loss to “Do Bronx” drove “The Diamond” to — something he’ll look to replicate if he shares the Octagon with him down the line.

How do you think a fight between Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler would play out?

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