This past Saturday, Chandler was in attendance for UFC Fight Night 208: Blaydes vs. Aspinall at O2 Arena in London, England. During a media appearance after the end of the prelims, “Iron” Mike talked about the state of the lightweight division.
Considering the existing matches of the top-ranked contenders in the weight class, Chandler believes that he will be paired up with Poirier, another top-five ranked man without an opponent, for his next fight. Gaethje would be the only other athlete who’s ranked high enough and has the star power to match but he’s already fought both men in the past.
“As of right now, me and Poirier are the only guys that are not matched up inside the top five,” Chandler 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,” he added.
Chandler Will Not Wait Around for Conor McGregor
The 36-year-old Missouri native had previously expressed interest in welcoming back Conor McGregor. “Notorious” has been on the sidelines in recovery from a horrific leg injury he suffered in his most recent outing against Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021.
He had surgery for the broken fibula and tibia, and only recently returned to training in all facets of mixed martial arts.
With McGregor’s return date still up in the air, Chandler insists he’ll have an outing before he rallies again for a potential shot at the biggest draw in the sport:
“I think everybody calling out Conor McGregor, and I have called him out but I’ve called him out in a respectful manner.
“‘Hey Conor, when you’re ready to come back, whenever you are ready, whenever the leg is 100 percent healed,’ because the sport of mixed martial arts, the UFC as a promotion is better with Conor McGregor in it,” he continued.
“But we need to see a healthy Conor McGregor inside the octagon so he doesn’t need to rush back. We’ll see when he comes back. I’m not waiting.”
Chandler and Poirier Have Been on a Collision Course
In May, Chandler created history when he became the first man to knock out Tony Ferguson in his latest bout at UFC 274. He delivered a vicious front kick to the face that sent ‘El Cucuy’ crashing down to the canvas.
Chandler doubled down on his performance with an electrifying promo calling out McGregor, and Charles Oliveira, the top contender at 155 lb in the post-fight octagon interview. He even offered to move up to welterweight in a bid to secure the showdown with McGregor, who’s looked jacked ahead of his return and reportedly weighs considerably more than his traditional weight class.
Following Chandler’s callout, Poirier took issue with the omission of his name. Chandler later responded to Poirier, stating that he felt overlooked by the longtime UFC veteran after making his way into the promotion from Bellator. He cited that as the reason for his relative lack of interest in taking on Poirier.
Now, it seems like the two will likely clash soon.