Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler had a chance to clear the air ahead of their fight at UFC 281.
The once-friendly fighters turned into heated rivals following UFC 257 in January 2021. After winning his UFC debut, Chandler would name-drop Poirier as a potential fight he’d like to have in the future. Poirier ignored Chandler’s call-out for the most part as he went on to have his trilogy fight with Conor McGregor, while Chandler sought out UFC gold.
Both fighters would fall short of the UFC Lightweight title and since then, the two have shifted their focus onto each other. After months of trash talk, ‘The Diamond’ would confront ‘Iron’ Mike cageside at UFC 276 over past words. The two lightweights who once shook hands were no more, Poirier and Chandler were now sworn enemies.
A Personal Vendetta?
With their fight official for UFC 281, the lightweights would trade words once again during a face-off interview with Daniel Cormier. Poirier would attempt to clear the air regarding their rivalry, insisting Chandler has been ‘different’ guy to him.
“I’ve been watching the guy fight for a long time,” Poirier said of Chandler. “He’s fought a lot of great guys. I’ve always had praise for him and it’s not like I’m going into this fight with a personal vendetta for the guy, but this is just it. He was a different guy, whenever we sat next to each other in Abu Dhabi and spoke. It’s not who he was when the mic’s in front of him in the Octagon. That’s what it is.”
Y’all know me and I am a bit messy. On a special DC&RC I got the chance to speak to @dustinpoirier and @mikechandlermma this is a snippet. Interview is live 4:30 est/1:30 pacific. https://t.co/VlqJok0Ing pic.twitter.com/Zc7X5YvIUd
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) September 22, 2022
Chandler Claps Back
A rebuttal-ready Chandler didn’t exactly agree with what Poirier had to say.
“The guy that talked to you in Abu Dhabi in the stands, you and I in the stands before weigh-ins, we had all of that,” Chandler responded to Poirier. “And then that Dustin Poirier went on record on the microphone after the fight and said, if the UFC wants me to fight Michael Chandler, I would’ve just assumed go help sell hot sauce. So, you wanna have a ton of praise for me but then also you would, you would rather sell hot sauce than fight me.”
When it comes to the media, ‘The Diamond’ doesn’t feel he discredited Chandler as a fighter. While he may have not cared too much about the former Bellator champ right after his UFC debut, Poirier believes Chandler has earned enough stripes to fight him this fall.
“Yeah, but I never discredited what you’ve done,” Poirier said to Chandler. “I just said, I wanna see the guy earn his stripes in The UFC and you’ve done that now. So, that’s why you’re fighting me on November 12th.
“It was his first fight in the the organization that I fought in 28 times! It was his first fight in the company! He can feel however he wants to feel,” Poirier said of Chandler being ‘upset’ with his words. “This is fighting, I don’t care.”
You can watch the two lightweights go at each other below.