Dustin Poirier, the former interim lightweight champion of the UFC, will fight Michael Chandler in the Octagon on November 12 at Madison Square Garden. Chandler sees the fight as a championship eliminator in the crowded 155-pound class.
As for Poirier, he will be making his return to the Octagon for the first time since losing to the aforementioned Oliveira in a third-round standing rear-naked choke at UFC 269, which he headlined back in December of last year.
Chandler has downplayed their disputes, but claims Poirier mistreated him initially because of their shared animosity ahead of their November clash, which caused the two of them to be separated as a July pay-per-view event on fighter row.
Michael Chandler on UFC 281 fight with Dustin Poirier
“I think there’s just a tug of war between two dudes who’ve got the same goal,” Michael Chandler said of his rivalry with Dustin Poirier during an interview with MMA Junkie reporter, Danny Segura. “His goal is to step in the Octagon and beat me and get his hand raised and continue to prove that he’s one of the best in the world. I have the exact same goal.”
“There’s some things that have been said,” Michael Chandler explained. “He disrespected me right away and said he’d rather sell hot sauce [than fight me]. I said I’m a bigger draw than him. We’ve said some things that maybe we do believe, maybe we don’t really believe. Maybe it was something we got caught up in the moment on these microphones.”