Michael Chandler doesn’t believe his feud with Dustin Poirier is personal heading into their UFC 281 fight.
For the longest time now fans have been waiting to see Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier square off. From taking shots at each other on social media to having an actual run-in at a UFC event this past summer, the pair have made it known to the world that they’re eager to settle the score inside the Octagon.
It’s seemed, from an outside perspective, as if things have gotten quite tense between them as a result of what’s happened in the past. Chandler wasn’t a fan of how Dustin dismissed him, whereas Poirier has questioned Chandler’s role in the company as well as some of the remarks he’s made in recent months.
However, as per Chandler in an interview with Ariel Helwani, the situation isn’t quite as complicated as that.
When asked about whether or not he sees their rivalry as a personal issue, ‘Iron Mike’ had a pretty clear response.
Video: Michael Chandler explains Dustin Poirier feud
“No, it’s not. I’ve made fights personal in the past and it’s never really worked out well for me, but truthfully, I think those moments warranted something of a personal beef, if you will. I honestly have nothing against Dustin. Would I have taken the fight against Dustin had he been in Bellator for however many years then came over and I was a top five guy, would I have fought him? I probably would’ve, but I can’t say for certain that I would.
“Would I have said the same things he did about me? Possibly, if I was thinking I had cut my teeth in the same organisation and the biggest organisation in the world for 15 years like he did. I can’t put myself in his shoes, but it’s not personal.”
The crossroads moment
Both of these warriors have been around for a long time and if they’re serious about becoming UFC lightweight champion, it really is now or never.
Chandler is 2-2 in the UFC but given how close his losses to Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje were, you’d have to think a convincing win here – especially after the knockout over Tony Ferguson – could land him another crack at the gold.
On the flip side, Dustin Poirier last competed in December 2021 when he fell short in his attempt to win the belt from the aforementioned ‘Do Bronx’.
The division isn’t getting any easier and with that in mind, we expect to see these guys pour it all out at Madison Square Garden on November 12.