UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik doesn’t believe Dustin Poirier needs to win a UFC championship.
Anik had the best seat in the house for Poirier’s latest appearance inside the Octagon at UFC 281. Facing high-octane brawler ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler, the two warriors delivered a beautifully violent back-and-forth Fight of the Year contender that saw ‘The Diamond’ pick up the victory with a third-round rear-naked choke.
“I don’t even know how to be articulate when talking about Dustin Poirier, I just want to call him an f’ing gangster and say, ‘Oh my f’ing God, this guy, man,’” Anik told MMA Fighting. “Durability, focus, boxing fundamentals — gosh, if you’re in an alley, don’t you want f*cking guy [with you], bro?
“Dustin Poirier is incredible, and I don’t think he needs an undisputed UFC lightweight championship to prove any sort of greatness,” Anik said. “This was a difficult matchup [for Poirier] in a lot of respects. Michael Chandler’s explosivity is a problem for a lot of people, and maybe if Chandler makes a little bit of a different decision at times in this fight, the narrative flips.
UFC-gevecht van 2022: Chandler vs Poirier pic.twitter.com/3OG0gSZLTQ
— Floris_Stempel (He/Haw) 🇳🇱 (@FlorisStempel) December 24, 2022
“Dustin Poirier’s ability to recognize when he’s hurt, bite down on the mouthpiece, and then, obviously, his skill set is such that he as able to submit a guy in this setting, his ability to rise to the occasion, and then just the attitude after the fact to tell Michael Chandler — however respectfully or not — that this is his house, the octagon, which he’s essentially competed 30 times. Huge night for Poirier in proving that his UFC body of work counts for a whole lot, and obviously I have buckets of respect for Chandler in defeat.”
Though he is a former interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier has come up short on two separate occasions to capture the undisputed 155-pound title. His first opportunity came against ‘The Eagle’ Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242. Two years later he would get another crack at the crown, this time against Charles Oliveira at UFC 269. Poirier would suffer the exact same fate as he did against Nurmagomedov in 2019.
Following the loss, Michael Chandler fell to 2-3 under the UFC banner but scored his fourth performance bonus in his barnburner with Dustin Poirier.