Blockbuster 'grudge match' between Dustin Poirer and Michael Chandler edges closer to fruition

Reports indicate that a potential fight between Dustin Poirer and Michael Chandler is virtually a done deal for UFC 281.

Speaking on his popular MMA Hour show, industry insider Ariel Helwani claimed "multiple sources" had reported that the fight is on the cusp of being confirmed.

"Multiple sources are telling me that the much-discussed, highly anticipated grudge match between Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler is close to being finalised," said Helwani.

"Not quite a done deal just yet, but it would be UFC 281. This is a heated grudge match, I can't wait for this… this was the fight to make."

The beef between the two fighters seemingly began on the MMA Hour in May, when Poirier threw shade on Chandler's star power despite his checkered UFC record.

The former Bellator fighter made an explosive UFC debut in 2021, knocking out Dan Hooker in the first round. That thrust him straight into a title fight for the vacant lightweight belt, which Charles Oliveira secured with aplomb via a second-round TKO at UFC 262.

Chandler followed that up with a loss to Justin Gaetjie, before another highlight KO of veteran Tony Ferguson in May.

Then in July at UFC 276, their rivalry was on full public display. In a video filmed by welterweight contender Gilbert Burns, Poirier and Chandler were seen arguing octagon-side, with Poirier seemingly calling chandler fake before saying "I'll f*** you up!"

Given that these two fighters are some of the nicest guys on the UFC roster, this newfound beef is rather difficult to fathom.

Poirier hasn't fought since the mercurial Oliviera submitted him last December and matchmaking-wise, there is little else that makes sense for The Diamond right now.

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