Arguably the people’s main event of UFC 281 took place in the lightweight division. Former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) made his first appearance of the year as he took on former title challenger “Iron” Michael Chandler (23-7).
The last time we saw “The Diamond” was last year when he had his shot at the title against Charles Oliveira. Poirier came up short that night. Over the last few years, Poirier has defeated the best in the UFC and only two men have bested him: Charles Oliveira and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Michael Chandler was trying to become the next man to get the best of Poirier. Chandler was coming off a huge knockout win over Tony Ferguson earlier this year. So far, Chandler is 2-2 in the UFC and he was looking for his third win tonight.
UFC 281 Recap
The UFC 281 lightweight contest kicked off with no touch of the gloves. Chandler presses forward early. Low kick attempt from Chandler misses. Poirier looking calm here in the opening minute. Right straight from Chandler. Poirier with a left hand and it’s answered by a body kick.
Right straight to the body from Chandler. Chandler really working the kicks early but one gets checked. Chandler pushes forward with a big combination. A few huge shots from Chandler puts Poirier on notice. Poirier lands a nice counter but he got hit clean by Chandler there.
Another huge right from Chandler. Chandler’s speed is making a difference early in the first. Big lead right hook from Poirier. Now Poirier is the one pushing forward. However, Chandler lands huge counters and now Poirier looks hurt.
Chandler backs Poirier up against the fence and he’s unloading here. Big takedown from Chandler. Poirier using the fence trying to get back to his feet here. Huge moments early from Michael Chandler in the first. Suplex from Chandler, but Poirier gets back his feet.
Huge shots from Poirier and now Chandler is hurt badly. Chandler lands big and now Poirier is hurt. Now Poirier lands and hurts Chandler. This is absolutely crazy. The round ends and who the hell knows who wins the first at UFC 281.
Entering the second at UFC 281 and I don’t know if Chandler is fully recovered. Poirier looks much fresher to start the second. Left straight from Poirier and he’s pressuring here. Chandler’s nose is leaking and he shoots for a takedown.
He gets deep on the hips and slams Poirier to the ground. Chandler settles into the guard of Dustin Poirier. Poirier almost gets a triangle choke and he opens up a cut with an elbow from the bottom. Michael Chandler is a bloody mess here in the second round.
Halfway through the round and Poirier is trying to get back to his feet. Chandler gets the back of Poirier and he starts looking for a rear naked choke. Poirier reverses but Chandler stays on top. Poirier gets his back to the fence. Big shots from the top from Chandler.
One minute left in the round and Poirier is in trouble here. More big shots from Chandler and there’s only 30 seconds left in the round. The round comes to a close and it was all Michael Chandler. We could be tied up at UFC 281.
Entering the third at UFC 281 and whoever wins this round likely wins this fight. They touch gloves and here we go. Low kick from Poirier immediately makes Chandler switch stances. Nice jab from Poirier. Head kick attempt from Poirier.
Chandler goes for a takedown and picks Poirier up for a slam. However, Poirier reverses the position and ends up on top. Chandler tries to get back up, but Poirier takes the back. Poirier immediately starts working for the choke. Poirier locks it in and it’s deep. Chandler has nothing left to fight it and he taps. Incredible with for The Diamond.
Dustin Poirier def. Michael Chandler by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 3