At this past weekend’s pay-per-view event, Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena was sold-out with fans and filled with a host of notable names, from WWE’s Triple H to Hollywood’s Chris Pratt. But while a significant amount of attention was on the star-studded audience, it was directed towards the fighter section midway through the night.
During the break between the prelims and main card, UFC welterweight Gilbert Burns uploaded a video showing top-five 155lbers Chandler and Poirier going at it on the arena floor, with “Iron” being dragged away as “The Diamond” shouted and pointed in his direction.
While they’ve never met inside the Octagon, the pair have some verbal history. Following his latest win, Chandler notably left Poirier out of his post-fight callouts despite the Louisianan’s high placement in the division and former interim champ status.
That spurred a back and forth online and in interviews, with Poirier branding the former Bellator titleholder fake and Chandler sharing a similar sentiment, labeling the UFC vet a “wannabe.”
Though it hardly seemed like their feud was nearing Khabib-McGregor cage-side brawl levels, it very nearly reached that this past weekend, and one former two-division UFC title challenger wants to know why…
Sonnen: What Got This Out Of Poirier?
During a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Chael Sonnen gave his take on the verbal exchange, which was watched on by the likes of light heavyweight king Jiří Procházka, Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell, and announcer Bruce Buffer Octagon-side.
After suggesting that Poirier showed a side of himself that has never been seen before, even in the face of Conor McGregor’s constant attacks on his family, Sonnen noted that Chandler hadn’t called him out, and questioned how “The Diamond” became so riled up by that.
“Poirier and Chandler, what the hell happened there? … Poirier had lost his mind. That is not the Poirier that we know. That is not a Poirier that we have ever seen,” Sonnen said. “We have seen Poirier’s wife insulted. We have seen Poirier get mad about it, but we didn’t see him start yelling and pointing. We didn’t see him yelling so much, with profanity and spits coming out… We saw Poirier pissed off. We saw a side of Poirier we’ve never seen before.
“Chandler also had not seen that side. Chandler was caught off guard… What happened there? … Dustin Poirier is mad, he is offended, he is the aggrieved party, because Michael Chandler did not call him out. It’s the opposite. Chandler called out Conor McGregor by name. Conor wasn’t upset?” Sonnen noted. “In no fashion was Poirier mentioned… I really wanna hear his case on this… This is such an opposite reaction… What got this out of him? Is there more to it?”
Whether Chandler’s previous refusal to entertain a matchup with Poirier will change remains to be seen. If it does, the stage has certainly been set for a heated buildup and intriguing matchup towards the top of the lightweight division.
What did you make of Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler’s altercation at UFC 276?