Michael Chandler has one thing on his mind, getting the UFC belt.
There has been a huge lightweight fight added to the November Madison Square Garden card between Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler. This fight has been brewing for some time now and finally, the bout agreements have been signed and the fight is on. Not exactly known for their trash-talking, both Chandler and Poirier have been uncharacteristically angry toward each other. They even got into a verbal altercation at a UFC event.
With the “bad blood” between these two, fans might have been expecting the fireworks and trash talking to continue but it seems to have cooled. Chandler was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani where he spoke about this matchup. Helwani asked if this fight was personal to Chandler to which he explained why it wasn’t.
“No, it’s not. I think I’ve made fights personal in the past, and it’s never worked out really well for me. But truthfully, I think those kind of relationships and scenarios. warranted somewhat of a personal beef, if you will, I really honestly have nothing against Dustin. Would I have taken the fight against Dustin had, he’d been in Bellator for however many years and then came over and I was a top-five guy would I have fought him? I probably would have, but I can’t say for certain that I would. Would I have said the same things that he did about me? Possibly, so I can’t put myself in his shoes, but it’s not personal. I think people want it to be personal. He and I will, as we always do, go out there bite downs on our mouthpieces and get into a hard-fought scrap and it will be entertaining. And like Dustin said, someone is most likely getting sparked out. So we’ll see what happens.”
Chandler explains which fight would interest him more, Conor McGregor or a title shot
Chandler explained that he wants to fight the best guys out there and is determined to get another shot at the UFC lightweight title. He believes a win over Poirier is the way to get that title shot. At the same time, Chandler spoke about how fighting is his primary income source and he wants to make the most money he can. He mentioned that he was briefly linked to a fight with Conor McGregor, a fight that would no doubt earn him the most money, but that fight never materialized. Now it seems McGregor will not return to the UFC anytime soon.
When asked which fight would interest him more, McGregor or a title shot, Chandler gave an answer that might surprise some people.
“That’s a hard question but honestly I fight for the title,” Chandler explained. “I started this journey in 2009 I fell short of becoming a national champion in wrestling at Mizzou. Obviously, I was a multiple-time Bellator champion, but I was never the number one guy in the world. I go out there, I win the UFC title, I’m the number one guy in the world, I can rest my head on my pillow for the rest of my life, knowing that I was a champion, knowing that I always put it on the line. I’ve always acted and treated this like a profession and always stayed disciplined, but have never been the number one guy in the world. I want to become the number one guy in the world and that’s my ultimate goal. And I do think that’s going to happen I think that’s in the cards for me, and then I fight Conor after that, and it’s an even bigger and an even bigger show.”
In the past, Chandler’s opponent Poirier has chosen the other route. Poirier took two fights with Conor McGregor over possibly receiving a title shot. Now he looks to defeat Chandler on his way back to the belt but has a tough road ahead of him.