It’s an unlikely rivalry, but lightweights Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler have beefed for nearly a year heading into their matchup at UFC 281 this November in New York City.
As two of the best 155-pound fighters on the planet today it was only a matter of time before “Diamond” and “Iron Mike” stepped inside of the Octagon to compete. However, fight fans weren’t expecting a year-long beef to be the catalyst for such a matchup. But mixed martial arts (MMA) is an unpredictable machine capable of making the nastiest rivalries out of the nicest fighters.
Chandler seemed to stoke the fire all the way back in Dec. 2021 when he mocked Poirier’s submission loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 269. This is the last time “Diamond” competed inside of the cage and a loss that snapped a three-fight win streak. Needless to say, Poirier didn’t like the comments Chandler was putting out and things began to snowball from there.
In May, despite previously expressing interest to fight Poirier, Chandler revealed he no longer wants a fight with “Diamond” because he’s not a draw. That sparked a response from Poirier, who questioned the legitimacy of Chandler’s Octagon opponents to date. The two continued to bicker back-and-forth and push for their chance to settle the score inside of the cage.
Things seemed to boil over at UFC 276 this past July when Poirier and Chandler came face-to-face in the crowd. UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka had to get involved to separate the two as both lightweights nearly came to blows (watch HERE). It was an eye-opening incident for fight fans who may have been on the fence about the rivalry.
Luckily, Poirier and Chandler came together during a recent appearance on ESPN’s “DC & RC” to shed light on their unexpected beef ahead of their UFC 281 showdown at Madison Square Garden. Check it out in the above video player.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 281 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (on ESPNEWS/ESPN+) at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 281: “Adesanya vs. Pereira” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.