Michael Chandler can’t understand why Dustin Poirier doesn’t want to fight him following his ultra-impressive octagon debut against Dan Hooker at UFC 257.
Poirier declared himself the uncrowned lightweight champ following his upset TKO victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 257 and told ‘Iron’ Chandler to go fight Charles Oliveira next if he truly wants to earn his No. 1 spot in the rankings.
.@DustinPoirier isn't overly interested in facing Michael Chandler after his TKO win at #UFC257:— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 24, 2021
"He should fight Charles Oliveira… I'm the champ."
Watch full video: https://t.co/DMjNkIPpCz pic.twitter.com/jjTxF41E59
Chandler, though, finds it a ‘little bit weird’ that Poirier doesn’t want to fight him considering he KO’d Hooker in just two-and-a-half minutes whereas ‘The Diamond’ was unable to put ‘The Hangman’ away after 25 minutes of action in the UFC Vegas 4 main event.
“I do think it’s a little bit weird, no matter what, who I was before UFC 257 is much different in the eyes of the fans, the media, the rankings than who I am now after UFC 257,” Chandler told MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin in a recent interview. “With the dominant performance that I put on against a guy that I finished in two-and-a-half minutes that took him 25 minutes to win a decision against. But Dustin Poirier is a champion in his own right. I believe he should be one half of the lightweight title picture, and it just remains to be seen who it will be.”
If Poirier doesn’t want to fight for the belt, Chandler believes the lightweight title picture will move on with or without him and that the Louisianan could end up being a ‘hot sauce salesman for the next six months’.
“He said if they want Chandler to fight for the title, he’ll go sell hot sauce, and truthfully he might end up just being a hot sauce salesman for the next six months, because I think the title picture is going to move on,” Chandler said. “I’m not saying I’m going to be one half of it, but I do know life is about opportunities.
“Life is about saying yes. Life is about performance, especially in this industry. I’ve said yes to every opportunity. I’ve said yes at the drop of a hat with the UFC thinking, ‘Holy cow, this guy’s a little bit nuts for saying yes to this but I love it.’”
Despite his highlight reel KO of Hooker at UFC 257, Chandler still feels he’s being overlooked by his competitors but promises more fireworks and highlight reel victories from here on out.
“As I said, I’m here to make an impact; I’m here to make a statement,” Chandler said. “I did that at UFC 257 and now really all I can do is still feel somewhat like an outsider. I think to the UFC fans and to the UFC media and to the UFC brass and to the UFC staff, everyone has immediately adopted me as one of their own. Everyone has said, ‘This is the guy, this guy is legit, this guy is a contender that could win the title this year.’ But you’re not quite seeing that from the Poiriers, the Gaethjes, the Oliveiras, the top guys. You’re not seeing it from Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. You’re not seeing it from these guys, and that’s completely fine.
“I’m here to continue to earn it, continue to prove it but I know UFC title shots don’t happen very easily, so if I do get that opportunity, or if these other guys don’t take the opportunity, they could get passed up and the guy on the bill could be named Michael Chandler.”
Chandler is riding a three-fight KO streak and currently #4 in the official UFC lightweight rankings.