Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier are in the last stages of negotiation for the upcoming UFC 281 fight at Madison Square Garden. They’ll be fighting to contend for the lightweight division championship. This is just a few weeks after Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira face off for the lightweight title championship in Abu Dhabi. And sources say that the winner of the UFC 281 could win a chance to fight for the recently reclaimed title.
While there are some fighters, like Beniel Dariush, who has a claim to a shot at winning the title, but considering Chandler and Poirier’s record at pleasing the fans, one of them has a shot as well. Both fighters are excellent performers. Just last year, Chandler fought Justin Gaethje at Madison Square Garden. The match was then voted UFC’s Fight of the Year for 2021. Then, there’s Dustin Poirier, who makes sure to deliver at all his fights.
However, the only thing that could potentially stop both fighters from a shot at the title is Charles Oliveira. The former lightweight champion, or Do Bronx, has beaten both Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier, and that too, quite recently. Both fighters lost against him in matches last year, and not by a small margin either. So if Oliveira wins against Makhachev at UFC 280, it will be difficult for both Poirier and Chandler to argue for a shot at the title. Hence, it’s likely that both of them will be cheering for Makhachev to win at UFC 280.
Of course, Chandler is no stranger to things turning out in his favor. Just last year, he made his UFC debut in a fight against Dan Hooker at UFC 257. After an impressive win, he was slated to fight Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 for a shot at the title. At the time, there was much frustration in the lightweight division because of how Chandler got a title fight in less than a year after debuting.
If he had to choose between fighting for the lightweight title and a match with Conor McGregor, Chandler would certainly pick a shot to win the title. Nevertheless, he’d want to fight McGregor after. After all, there are few fighters in the lightweight division who Chandler hasn’t fought. Some of them are Tony Ferguson, Benson Henderson, Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira, and Eddie Alvarez. Now that he’ll be fighting Dustin Poirier in a couple of weeks, McGregor remains on Chandler’s list of fighters he aimed to face off after joining the UFC.
Chandler was the one to call out McGregor after he delivered a front kick to Ferguson’s chin, rendering him unconscious. Chandler’s performance made UFC 274 the fight that was remembered as knockout of the year. After the bout, he took his time on the mic to call out Conor McGregor, making it one of the most-watched post-fight UFC interviews. Nevertheless, his eyes are still on UFC gold.
Although he was just seconds away from winning against Charles Oliveira at the UFC 263 for the vacant lightweight division title, he’s quite optimistic about getting a shot at a rematch. Winning the upcoming match against Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 would earn him the position of second-ranked lightweight fighter in the UFC. Considering how it’s uncertain whether McGregor will return, Chandler thinks he has a good shot at fighting the winner of the UFC 280 Oliveira versus Makhachev match.
According to UFC betting sites, the Poirier versus Chandler fight will be an extremely competitive one. And while it’s unclear whether the fight will lead to a title shot, the best UFC betting sites show some tight odds, with Chandler being called a +135 underdog.