Michael Chandler has been doing everything in his power to lock down a fight with Conor McGregor, but the lightweight contender is confident that a matchup with Dustin Poirier could be next in line.
This is according to Chandler himself who was in attendance at UFC London this Saturday and caught up with reporters after the fights. Chandler didn’t go into too much detail, but he revealed fight news is coming soon and it could very include “The Diamond.”
“As of right now, me and Poirier are the only guys that are not matched up inside the top 5,” Chandler said at the UFC London scrum (via MMA Fighting). “There’s no secret Dustin Poirier and I have been on a collision course to stepping inside the octagon. Beneil Dariush just got matched up. Obviously, Islam and Charles are fighting. [Justin] Gaethje’s out with a nose surgery and I just fought Gaethje two fights ago. 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, whenever you’re ready to come back, whenever you’re 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, but we need to see a healthy Conor McGregor inside the octagon. He doesn’t need to rush back, we’ll see when he comes back.
“So I’m not waiting. 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 and Poirier have become some what of rivals over the past few months. After talking trash to one another on social media and in interviews the two lightweights nearly brawled at UFC 276 earlier this month. Chandler isn’t sure where the bad blood stems from and isn’t overly concerned if he never gets the chance to bury the hatchet.
“In his mind, he’s got some ill-will towards me if you will and it’s gonna make it that much easier to knock him out whenever he oversteps if he and I do step inside the octagon, but I have not lost one minute of sleep thinking about Dustin Poirier, and I’m gonna keep on doing what I’m doing until the fight gets announced and then I’m gonna go out there and finish my next opponent and become UFC champion next year,” said Chandler.
As for the matchup itself, Chandler is confident that a showdown with Poirier inside of the Octagon will produce lasting fireworks. After all, the two lightweights are two of the most exciting athletes on the UFC roster today and if their potential fight is fueled by bad blood it should make things even more interesting.
“It’s gonna be fun for you guys, it’s gonna be fun for me, it’s gonna be not fun for my wife,” Chandler said. “But I do think he and I are cut from the same cloth. All personal attacks aside, all personal vendettas aside, I respect him, he respects me.”
We will have to wait and see if Chandler vs. Poirier is announced in the coming weeks. But considering every other top lightweight on the roster is currently scheduled to fight it makes complete sense to book the matchup right now.
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