UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler believes Dustin Poirier “ate his words” at UFC 269 after describing the vacant title fight at UFC 262 as a clash for “fool’s gold.”
At the start of 2021, the future of the lightweight division was uncertain. But after Khabib Nurmagomedov committed to his retirement by vacating the gold and Poirier pursued a third fight with Conor McGregor, the path was laid out.
While “The Diamond” and the “Notorious” Irishman faced off in a title eliminator at UFC 264, a champion was crowned two months prior at UFC 262. The main event pitched Charles Oliveira against former three-time Bellator champion Chandler.
After “Do Bronx” mounted an incredible second-round comeback to secure his place on the lightweight throne, a moment 28 UFC fights in the making, Poirier later cemented his place as the Brazilian’s first challenger with his second triumph of the year over McGregor.
At UFC 269, Oliveira made his first title defense. Despite many expecting Poirier to be too much for the champion, the underdog once again upset the odds. In the third round, Oliveira submitted Poirier with a standing rear-naked choke.
Chandler Details The “Irony” Of Poirier’s Loss
In the aftermath of the final pay-per-view of 2021, Chandler wasted no time in criticizing the fallen challenger. In a couple of posts on Twitter, “Iron” suggested Poirier “quit” in his main event clash against Oliveira.
While he slightly walked back the comment in a later interview and admitted it was harsh, Chandler maintained that “The Diamond” has doubted him since the start, a sentiment he reiterated during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour.
Discussing where his comments came from, Chandler brought up the fact Poirier had described the title as “fool’s gold” when he fought Oliveira for it last May. Given the fact the former interim titleholder then went on to lose to “Do Bronx,” Chandler believes Poirier ate his words at UFC 269.
“The reason I was critical of Dustin Poirier has been his dismissal and just downright disrespectful of me when I came into the UFC lightweight division,” claimed Chandler. “Even after Dustin made the decision that he didn’t wanna fight for the UFC title and he wanted to hold out for the money fight against Conor, when me and Oliveira were next in line and we said yes and we were gonna fight, instead of just saying, ‘Hey, I decided to fight Conor and let these guys fight for the title,’ he called the title ‘fool’s gold,’ and I think that was part of it.
“That’s what he called the title that Charles Oliveira won, and then Charles Oliveira went out there and finished him,” added Chandler. “My only regret was that I didn’t type in ‘fool’s gold’ somewhere in that statement because that was exactly what Dustin Poirier called the title that me and Charles Oliveira fought for. Dustin Poirier decided to take the money fight with Conor, which I don’t blame him (for) whatsoever, but that’s the decision you make, so don’t go ahead and discredit the guys who are fighting for the title and call the title ‘fool’s gold.’
“So the ‘fool’s gold’ champion Charles Oliveira went out there and finished Dustin Poirier, which is just a little bit ironic… I think Dustin Poirier ate his words that night.”
In 2022, both Chandler and Poirier have their eyes on possible opponents but are yet to have one set in stone. Whilst “The Diamond” has his sights set on a welterweight clash with Nate Diaz, a prospect that also entices Chandler, “Iron” is looking at potential matchups with Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson.
But outside of these possibilities, Chandler is also open to settling his score with Poirier inside the Octagon. Given their exciting and fan-friendly styles, the fight would undoubtedly be highly anticipated and highlight entertaining.
Would you like to see Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier share the Octagon in 2022?