Chandler is set to mark his return to action against former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 on Nov. 12 in the promotion’s long-awaited comeback to Madison Square Garden in New York. Coming off an impressive front kick knockout over Tony Ferguson in May, Chandler will look to get back in the mix of title contention with a win over ‘Diamond.’
Earlier in July, the two crossed paths during the International Fight Week’s marquee card of UFC 276 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. A fired-up Poirier confronted Chandler in a heated altercation that got captured by former welterweight title challenger Gilbert Burns, before the security separated them.
In an appearance on the “DC & RC” show on ESPN MMA, Poirier and Chandler came face to face online to try and clear out the air between them. When asked by the host Daniel Cormier about the nearing matchup, Chandler shared his take on his opponent.
“I can tell you this, the dude’s got a chin on him, rangy southpaw, punches in bunches, great with his footwork and great with his defense,” Chandler said via BJ Penn.com. “I’ve fought people in his camp before so I’m sure they are talking about that. With Dustin as he said, 28 fights in the UFC, I have a lot of Dustin Poirier fans/hey I have watched this guy forever.
“We are two guys who have been in this game for a very long time, last fight was the last fight and this fight is going to be something brand new.
Chandler Says Poirier Is a ‘Scary Opportunity’
Since joining the UFC from Bellator, ‘Iron’ Mike got to work right off the bat, competing against the elite contenders and getting a shot at the gold. His fan-friendly style of brawling it out made him an instant favorite of the community.
Chandler acknowledged Poirier presented a major threat and confessed that it was a scary fight.
“I think Dustin can stand with me, I do think he has a granite chin, I do think he throws punches and bunches, I do think you get caught with Dustin Poirier’s four-ounce glove, you’re probably going out,” Chandler continued. “So, I’m going to be on my P’s and Q’s, you know I like to mix it up, have a good game plan we already formulated it. May the best man win.
“This is a fight, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t scare me, but that’s what excites me. Every time we step into the Octagon it’s a scary opportunity, and that’s what wakes me up early in the morning.”
Poirier Wanted the Fight To Be 5 Rounds
In an interview with Heavy following UFC 279, CELSIUS-sponsored athlete Poirier gave his take on the fight for three rounds instead of five.
“Yeah, I really wanted to do a five-round fight. Especially for me, I like to get a rhythm going and the timing. I feel like the better fighter unless something happens early in one of the first rounds, the better fighter usually wins in the distance. You can make this thing 10 rounds it’s going to be the same energy going into those first few rounds.”