Amidst the UFC 276 festivities at the T-Mobile arena, another fight between two top-tier lightweights nearly broke out cageside. That viral moment involved Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler, who were seen on video being restrained by arena security.
At the time, not much context was made known to everyone. Poirier also refuses to speak about the said incident unless it’s done face-to-face. Chandler, however, is going the opposite route.
In a media scrum at UFC London on Saturday, the former Bellator champion shared his side of the story.
“We had our seats and we were walking over there and the security guards came over and basically said something to the effect of, ‘hey, he’s not gonna sit over there,”’ Chandler recalled.
“All of a sudden, I heard some chirping, some very vile, venom being spit in my direction. I didn’t know if it was being thrown at me or not. I look over and Dustin Poirier’s pointing at me.
“He obviously had a bone to pick with me that night. Dustin Poirier, it’s no secret he’s made it very known he’s ready for a fight. He is thirsty, very, very thirsty for a fight. So he’s looking for anybody and everybody to throw venom at. I was the target that night and I was just trying to watch some fights with my wife.”
A fight between Poirier and Chandler does make sense in the lightweight division, and such an incident usually drums up early interest. But for Chandler, this isn’t the way to go about it.
“If you think that’s the way that you’re gonna get a fight with me, that’s the absolute opposite way of getting a fight with me. I’m not here to be in physical altercations in a public forum, especially with my wife. He was not happy with me that night.
“In his mind, he’s got some ill will toward me, if you will. And it’s gonna make it that much easier to knock him out whenever he oversteps if he and I do step inside the Octagon.”
Chandler (23-7) is coming off a sensational second-round front kick KO win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 in May, which is easily a candidate for KO of the Year. Poirier (28-7, 1 NC), meanwhile, is coming off his second undisputed title fight loss at UFC 269 against Charles Oliveira in December.