A fight between top-ranked UFC lightweights Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler is in the works, according to a report from Ariel Helwani, and “The Diamond” appears interested in clashing with Chandler for five rounds.
Helwani, who broke the news on Wednesday’s episode of “The MMA Hour,” said that the rivals had been linked to the proposed UFC 281 Madison Square Garden event in New York City on November 12.
The same day, Poirier also verified via Twitter that he had “fight news coming soon.” Well, on Thursday The Diamond then tweeted “5 Rounds,” signifying that a longer contest was potentially in the cards with “Iron.”
Typically, the UFC only schedules main events and championship tilts for five rounds, but the promotion has made exceptions recently.
For example, Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz battled for five rounds at UFC 263 in June 2021, and Robbie Lawler and Nick Diaz’s rematch was booked for five frames in September 2021 at UFC 266.
Poirier has been scheduled to battle five rounds in his last nine fights in a row, whereas Chandler has only fought in one five-round contest as a UFC combatant. However, the former multiple-time Bellator 155-pound king has plenty of experience competing in fights longer than three rounds as well.
Chandler Recently Pointed to the Fight Being on the UFC’s Radar
Chandler was in London for the promotion’s July 23rd card, and he spoke with the media during the event at the O2 Arena. And during his time with the microphone, Iron revealed that the UFC could be announcing the fight with Poirier soon.
“As of right now, me and Poirier are the only guys that are not matched up inside the top five,” Iron said. “There’s no secret Dustin Poirier and I have been on a collision course to stepping inside the Octagon.”
“I think you’re going to hear some fight news coming pretty soon, and it could be me and Dustin Poirier, we’ll see,” Chandler continued.
Chandler last competed in May at UFC 274 when he earned a sensational KO victory over Tony Ferguson, snapping a two-fight losing streak. Iron is currently ranked No. 6 at lightweight per the official UFC standings, and he boasts a professional mixed martial arts record of 23-7.
On the other end, Poirier, a former interim UFC lightweight champion, dropped a title fight to Charles Oliveira in his last outing at UFC 269 in December. He’s ranked behind the Brazilian at No. 2 in the division and has a record of 28-7 with one no-contest.
Chandler Thinks He vs. Conor McGregor Is ‘Biggest’ Fight in Mixed Martial Arts Right Now
Chandler isn’t just eyeing a showdown with Poirier, however. While speaking with TMZ Sports last month, Iron said he wanted to fight Conor McGregor and claimed that it was the “biggest” fight that could be made right now in mixed martial arts.
“If Conor’s coming back anytime soon, I think me and Conor would make some fireworks and it’s a fight that fans want to see,” Chandler said. “I think it’s the biggest fight we can make in mixed martial arts right now and I try to say that as humble as possible but I think it’s a huge fight.”
McGregor has been out of action since breaking his leg in July 2021 at UFC 264 against Poirier, and it’s unclear when the Irishman will return to action.