DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Michael Chandler sees the winner of Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3 because the probably No. 1 contender to the light-weight championship he plans to win subsequent month at UFC 262.
Chandler (22-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is scheduled to struggle Charles Oliveira (30-8 MMA, 18-8 UFC) for the vacant 155-pound title in the primary occasion on Might 15 at Toyota Heart in Houston. Lower than two month later, Poirier and McGregor will conflict in a trilogy bout within the UFC 264 headliner on July 10.
If Chandler manages to get his hand raised, he stated he received’t be steadfast about his first title protection. Nevertheless, given the lay of the land, it’s laborious to disclaim Poirier (27-6 MMA, 19-5 UFC) or McGregor (22-5 MMA, 10-3 UFC) could be the man.
“Once I win the title on Might 15, I’m not going to be the man calling pictures,” Chandler informed MMA Junkie. “I’m going to be the champion and I maintain the belt, however I’m not going to be the man calling pictures. You simply take a look at the rankings and also you take a look at the physique of labor of Dustin Poirier, he’s the apparent No. 1 man proper now. He selected to take the cash struggle and cross up on the chance to struggle for the title, so if he does beat Conor, he’s the apparent No. 1 selection. But when Conor beats the No. 1 man, plus how large of a reputation he’s, plus the star energy of himself, plus when Conor’s on and Conor’s chasing the title, there’s not a spectacle extra thrilling in sports activities.
“So, he goes on the market and runs by Dustin, and even beats Dustin in a dominant trend, I believe that makes him the No. 1 contender. I’ll be holding the belt, and I’ll be there (cageside) in Vegas, excited to see who I’m going to struggle in all probability in a while this 12 months or the primary of subsequent 12 months.”
Chandler stated he’s unsure who will win the rubber match. Nevertheless, it seems there’s extra rigidity with “The Diamond.” Poirier stated within the instant aftermath of beating McGregor of their rematch final January that he was not desirous about a bout with Chandler, and since there have been constructing pot pictures between the 2 sides.
Poirier has accused Chandler of being a UFC “sure man” and stated he’s preventing for “idiot’s gold” at UFC 262. Chandler has responded in form, and on Monday posted a video mocking his fellow contender lifted from the “8 Mile” film (through Instagram):
Chandler hasn’t taken any pictures at McGregor, nevertheless, and he stated that’s for good cause.
“Conor has not stated one detrimental factor about me,” Chandler stated. “Conor hasn’t actually stated my title in any respect. Not that that could be a good factor or a foul factor. Poirier has. That’s positive. He can have his opinion of me. ‘I haven’t earned it’ or he’d slightly promote sizzling sauce than struggle me for the title, or it’s ‘idiot’s gold.’ It was extra directed at him as a result of he’s been the man that’s stated probably the most.
“He’s received an enormous struggle forward of him. He’s received the largest struggle of his life forward of him. Ending a trilogy with Conor McGregor is the largest factor he’s received on his plate. However then once more, I ought to be extra nervous about Charles Oliveira, I suppose.”
All of this discuss is meaningless till Chandler beats Oliveira at UFC 259, he stated. He’ll be within the driver’s seat if he claims the title, and that place is Chandler one has been chasing for years.
He spent a few years as one of many faces of Bellator, solely getting his expertise measured as much as the UFC’s finest from the skin. Now that he’s right here, Chandler stated it’s necessary to maximise the platform. To him, which means coaching laborious and placing his finest foot ahead with no matter time he has on this stage.
“It’s an fascinating light-weight division,” Chandler stated. “Filled with characters, stuffed with fighters, stuffed with world-class athletes, and I’m excited to be part of it. I’m excited to ruffle just a little little bit of feathers. I stated once I got here into this group I didn’t wish to simply be part of the celebration. I wished to kick down the door and are available in and make myself recognized. That’s what I’m attempting to do, and I’ve left no stone unturned right here contained in the gymnasium, and that’s crucial factor.”