With an emphatic, highlight-reel win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 274, Michael Chandler further cemented his position towards the top of the ever-deep lightweight division. He will likely be matched up against fellow elite contenders, or if his fate and the UFC brass permit it, another title shot against Charles Oliveira.
During his recent appearance on The MMA Hour, the number five-ranked Chandler was asked about the possibility of fighting the number-two ranked Dustin Poirier. It is a promising matchup, but Chandler says he isn’t on board.
“I have no interest in fighting Dustin, honestly,” Chandler told Ariel Helwani.
“To be quite honest, I think he’s a great dude, I like him for the sport. But I also think I was completely disregarded and pushed aside whenever I came into the organization.
“He completely disregarded me, he completely acted as though I didn’t deserve to be where I was. Maybe it’s a little bit more of a personal issue, but I also think Dustin… is Dustin a draw?”
Chandler further explained his reason, pointing out Poirier’s uncertainty in terms of his career, at the moment.
“I guess he is the number two guy, ranked number two now. But he’s kind of just stayed at number two and I don’t know how active he’s gonna be,” he said. “But I did see that he tweeted that I was saying everybody else’s name but his as if I didn’t want to fight him because of technical reasons or whatnot. But I forgot about him, to be honest with you.
“Hats off to him for what he’s done in his career, and I respect the heck out of him. He makes some great hot sauce. But as of right now, I really don’t have a desire to fight him.”
To Chandler’s credit, Poirier’s next career move seems to be up in the air, at the moment. After losing his second title bid at UFC 269 in December, “The Diamond” contemplated changing weight classes. His coach Mike Brown also agreed, saying Poirier “could be a better welterweight.”