We are less than a week away from lightweight warfare at UFC 281 when the promotion invades Madison Square Garden in New York City.
While most of the headlines have focused on the middleweight world championship main event between reigning titleholder Israel Adesanya and his GLORY Kickboxing rival Alex Pereira, there will be fireworks in the 155-pound division when two fan favorites, Dustin Poirier and ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler, mix it up inside the Octagon.
The promotion recently released the official UFC 281 Countdown on YouTube, featuring an inside look at the two fighters’ preparation for their highly-anticipated scrap. Also included were comments from Dustin Poirier’s American Top Team teammate, Jorge Masvidal who is backing ‘The Diamond’ on Saturday night.
“I’ve been watching Chandler for a very long time. [He’s a] phenomenal athlete. A great wrestler, but I think Dustin smokes him in those moments where the bullets are flying. Dustin finds a way always to remain calm and cool and Dustin’s gonna catch him.”
Dustin Poirier Promises Violence at UFC 281
When Dustin Poirier steps into the Octagon, a highlight reel knockout is likely, and beautiful violence is guaranteed. With 28 career wins, ‘The Diamond’ has scored an incredible 15 knockouts, the most notable of which came against top MMA stars including Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez, Dan Hooker, and ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor on two separate occasions.
“For this fight with Chandler, not a lot of trash talk needs to happen,” said Poirier. “When I’m booked on a card, you know you’re going to get violence.”
While Michael Chandler may not boast as many wins inside the Octagon as Poirer, the former Bellator champion is just as well-versed in the art of the knockout, securing 11 career KOs in 23 career victories featuring some big names including Benson Henderson, Dan Hooker, and Tony Ferguson.
“I defeat Poirier by going out there, keeping my foot on the gas,” Chandler said. “Never let him really get started. Wear him down and finish him.”