Dustin Poirier has a good grasp on how the upcoming fight for season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter’s (TUF) coaches will play out.
It was announced this past week (Feb. 3, 2023) that Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler are set to collide after coaching opposite each other on TUF 31 this summer. The fight will act as McGregor’s first since breaking his leg against Poirier in their July 2021 trilogy bout (watch highlights). Chandler, on the other hand, last tasted defeat against Chandler in a thrilling Nov. 2022 Madison Square Garden clash, suffering a third-round rear-naked choke submission loss (watch highlights).
“The Diamond” anticipates that Ireland’s finest can snap his two-fight skid against the “Iron” former three-time Bellator Lightweight champion, depending on what form he shows up in.
“Either guy can win,” Poirier told Weighing In. “I think if Conor comes back with the same timing and speed that he had before the injury — if he comes back to that, he’s gonna stop Chandler. Chandler’s very hittable.
“Conor’s a guy that when you’re in front of him, it looks like he can’t touch you, but he touches you,” he continued. “He’s longer than he looks when he’s in there. He uses his length and speed and timing really well to close that distance. Chandler’s a guy who needs explosive movements to get in and out. If Conor’s timing’s the same, I think he hurts Chandler. It’s gonna be a five-round fight, Conor doesn’t fight co-mains or three-round fights. So, if Chandler can get in there, get some blood in his legs, wrestle hard for the first few rounds, maybe it goes different. But if Conor has any similarity to who he used to be before the injury and before the layoff, I think he stops Chandler. He’s just too hittable. But he is more durable than I thought he’d be.”
Poirier currently awaits his next move in the always-packed 155-pound weight class. Ultimately, he just wants someone specific that makes sense to “beat up” and is a motivating challenge.