If there was ever a fight in the UFC that did not need a personal grudge to make it exciting, it would be the pivotal lightweight matchup between Poirier and Chandler. These two have been known to put on nothing but exciting fights, so the general perception was at there was no need for an added twist of bad blood between the two combatants.
Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler Air Their Beef
Despite the fact that a beef was not needed, it seemed that one formed between these two men, at least on the side of Dustin Poirier. While he is not normally known for being a hothead, he has had some harsh words to say about Michael Chandler, who fired back in his own right.
Well the two came face-to-face when they were pitted to do an interview with former UFC champ-champ turned commentator Daniel Cornier, and it was here that Poirier explained the nature of his vendetta with the former Bellator champion. Here, he revealed that he does not appreciate the way that Chandler bounces between being respectful and disrespectful in interviews, feeling like this makes him fake.
“I’ve been watching the guy fight for a long time. He’s fought a lot of great guys. I’ve always had praise for him. He’s done some great things,” Poirier said. “It’s not like I’m going into this with a personal vendetta against the guy, but this is just it. The whole way he answered that question is not who he was a few interviews ago with Ariel Helwani, or it’s not who he was when the mic’s in front of him in the Octagon. He was a different guy whenever we sat next to each other in Abu Dhabi and spoke. That’s what it is.”
This prompted a response from Chandler, who was quick to point out the similar tactics that Poirier has used over the years. He also noted that there was a time where the former interim champ was also disrespectful, turning down fights with him when he first signed to the UFC.
“(You) went on record after the fight (with Khabib Nurmagomedov) and said ‘If the UFC wants me to fight Michael Chandler, I’d just as soon go sell hot sauce.’ So you want to have a ton of praise for me, but then you’d rather sell hot sauce than fight me,” Chandler said.
Beef Gets Squashed?
Because this was a face-to-face interview, Michael Chandler had the opportunity to respond to these claims from Dustin Poirier. He replied by explaining that he is only trying to promote fights like anyone else, and that he was not interested, at the time, in calling out someone who had been expressing desires to potentially retire or move up in weight.
There appeared to be a moment where both Poirier and Chandler realized that they were largely after the same thing, and that they did not have issues with each other personally, even reflecting on how good of a time it was the first time they met each other during a Bellator show. After this, it seemed like they squashed their beef, admitting that the do not have to hate each other in order to put on a show for the fans.
“Now it’s going on record like we hate each other. It doesn’t matter. We don’t need to hate each other to go in there November 12th and make it look like we hate each other and fight,” Chandler said.
“I don’t hate anybody but what I’m going to do is beat you up,” Poirier responded. “He can feel however he wants to feel. This is fighting, I don’t care,” Poirier said.
While it may be cool these two men put whatever personal grudges they had aside, there’s no doubt that Dustin Poirier vs Michael Chandler will be an exciting fight from start to finish. That being said, it has been fun to watch these two go at it from time to time.
Who are you picking between Poirier and Chandler, on November 12th?