Dustin Poirier is contemplating his next move.
UFC 291 didn’t go Poirier’s way this past month (July 29, 2023) in his rematch against Justin Gaethje. The Baddest Motherf—ker (BMF) title bid resulted in Gaethje’s redemption, knocking out “The Diamond” with a perfect second round head kick (watch highlights). Eager to get back in action, Poirier is seeking something exciting next and has teased on Twitter the possibility of moving up to the Welterweight division.
Poirier’s last victory came over the former three-time Bellator Lightweight champion, Michael Chandler, in Nov. 2022 via a third round rear-naked choke (watch highlights). Chandler is likely to make the divisional transition in his next time out, which is expected to come against Conor McGregor. Should Poirier follow suit, “Iron” doesn’t expect success to be found for his last foe.
“Depending on how you want to think about this, I say tap out,” Chandler said on DC & RC (h/t MMA Junkie). “If I’m Dustin Poirier or Dustin Poirier’s management, he’s not a big 155’er. Some people would say he could make 145.
“I say case in point, when somebody pulled out of the fight — it was Tony Ferguson, Nate Diaz, that whole debacle with [Khamzat] Chimaev, he stepped on the scale, took a picture of himself, he was in the 170s,” he continued. “I’m about 190 right now. He’s not a big Lightweight. I don’t think it’s smart for him to go up to 170. You get hit with a 170-pound punch, it’s a lot harder than 155. Dustin, stay at 155.”
Of Poirier’s eight career losses (29-8, 1 no contest), he’s lost three via strikes with two of those coming at Lightweight and the other at Featherweight. Considering the landscape of the 170-pound division, Poirier may have to worry more about his grappling defense than the striking. Either way, his involvement in the weight class would add instant intrigue.
As for Chandler, his potential McGregor clash coming at Welterweight is more of a byproduct of “The Notorious’” bulk-up since his last fight in July 2021. McGregor rose to fame in UFC as a Featherweight and eventually captured the title in December 2015 before permanently leaving the division.
“I’m fighting a 145-pounder at 170,” Chandler said. “Conor McGregor has the bone density of a yellow-bellied sapsucker, the bone density of an albatross. Conor McGregor is a natural 145-pounder. So, if I want to fight him at 170, I’m going to be bigger than Conor at 170. That’s why I’m fighting him at 170.”