Dustin Poirier and Micheal Chandler, two of the most exciting fighters in all of MMA, are nearing a deal to face each other.
When the UFC visits Madison Square Garden again, a lightweight grudge match is all but guaranteed.
The MMA Hour
On Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Ariel Helwani stated that a fight between former interim champion Dustin Poirier and former Bellator champion and former UFC title challenger Michael Chandler is “close and likely” to be set for UFC 281 on November 12. The heated exchange between Poirier and Chandler at UFC 276 was captured on camera not long before this.
Also read: UFC 277: Results and Summary
Since losing to Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title at UFC 269 last December, Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) hasn’t competed. ‘The Diamond’ had previously achieved back-to-back notable victories, as well as a thrilling five-round decision over Dan Hooker. The only fights Dustin has lost in his last 11 have been title fights against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Oliveira. His most recent non-title loss was a startling first-round knockout by Michael Johnson in 2016.
Chandler (23-7) is one of Bellator’s all-time greatest fighters and has won the lightweight division’s championship three times. In 2020, he made his long-awaited UFC debut by stunningly knocking out Dan Hooker at UFC 257. With that victory, he was given the opportunity to challenge Charles Oliveira for the vacant belt, but after a promising start, he was defeated by ‘Do Bronx’ via second-round KO at UFC 262. Following a thrilling three-round decision loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 at MSG last November, he recovered with an unbelievable front kick knockout of Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 in May.
Aside from that, November 12th is notable because it marks the anniversary of the first UFC event, the date of the first UFC event held at MSG in 2016 (UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor), and the date of the UFC’s first appearance on FOX television in 2011 (Dos Santos vs. Velasquez I).
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