Michael Chandler was quick to judge Dustin Poirier at UFC 269.
The former 2X Bellator Champion would take some cracks at ‘The Diamond’ after he tapped out to Charles Oliveira in the main event. Poirier would fail in his second shot at the undisputed title and Chandler would be disappointed to see it.
Both men have the shared distinction of falling to Charles Oliveira in UFC lightweight title bouts and Chandler was less than complimentary in the hours following the December 11th card. He’d kick the heartbroken Poirier while he was down.
I would never ever quit…I went out on my shield after being separated from consciousness, congrats to Oliveira… #ufc269
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) December 12, 2021
Oliveira would also seize Chandler’s back, in their bout earlier this year. However, Chandler was able to survive, winning the first round with a near-finish of the Brazilian. It would play out differently in the sequel round with Chandler falling to punches from Oliveira.
He would criticize Poirier for ‘quitting’ to submission in round 3 rather than ‘going out on his shield.’ Chandler would take criticism himself from these comments and would later reflect on his controversial words.
Michael Chandler apologizes to Dustin Poirier
Chandler articulated his thoughts on the recent UFC lightweight championship bout in deeper detail. As well as the backstory and context of his Poirier comments.
“I have never tapped and it doesn’t make me tougher or better or more whatever than anybody,” Chandler told MMA Fighting. “Maybe I’ll eat my words someday. But that’s what we do. That’s why they say words once spoken can never be caught with the swiftest horse. Once you say something, you’ve got to own it. You’ve got to eat it.”
“Sorry for anybody out there who I offended who loves Dustin Poirier, sorry for anybody out there who thought it was a little bit too critical. But that’s how I was feeling in the moment. I love the sport, I love this division, I love fighting.”
Chandler Praises ‘The Diamond’
Some of ‘Iron’ Mike’s comments were informed by perceived past slights from ‘The Diamond’. But that doesn’t mean there is a lack of competitive respect by any means.
“I don’t think Dustin Poirier’s a bad guy. I don’t think he thinks I’m a bad guy. But as a competitor, he called me and Charles fighting fool’s gold. He dismissed me saying he wouldn’t fight me in the UFC even after I knocked out Dan Hooker.”
“So he was just a little bit more dismissive of me. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I actually think he’s a great guy. Think he’s a phenomenal ambassador for the sport but he and I, when it comes to the competition aspect of us both being fighters inside the same division, I think we both have a little bit of a bone to pick with each other.”
Chandler Would Love To Compete Against Poirier
Chandler, the former 2x Bellator Champ, is currently 1-2 inside the Octagon. After successfully debuting against Dan Hooker, he would lose to Oliveira and Justin Gaethje in ‘fight of the night’ efforts. He has run into Poirier before, showing respect in their encounter at UFC 257.
While Poirier may be a potential foe some day, Chandler finds total respect for Poirier, despite past comments.
“That’s what I wanted to do when I came into the UFC. I wanted to fight all the top guys and Poirier was actually one of the guys that we asked for and he declined in the very beginning, which I have no problem with that. He was at the top of the division and I was new guy from the outside of the UFC coming in. So he’s always been a name on the list. He’s a guy that I respect, a guy that I admire inside of the sport of mixed martial arts and a guy I would love to compete against.”
What are your thoughts on Chandler’s recent comments regarding the Poirier vs. Oliviera finish?