UFC 281 Preview: Dustin Poirier – Michael Chandler

Daniel Cunningham
dustin poirier, ufc
Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Dustin Poirier during weigh ins for UFC 236 at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 281, we are going to see a sensational matchup between two of the most exciting lightweights in the world. Former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) returns as he takes on former title challenger “Iron” Michael Chandler (23-7).

The last time we saw Poirier was when he fought Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title last year. After having some success early, Poirier went on to be submitted by Oliveira. Prior to that loss, he had won three straight which included two huge wins over Conor McGregor.

Since 2017, Poirier is 8-2, 1 NC with the losses only coming to Oliveira and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Standing across from him tomorrow night is former Bellator champion Michael Chandler.

Chandler bursted onto the UFC scene with a huge first round knockout of Dan Hooker. Following that, he lost two straight in two incredible fights against Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira. Chandler bounced back in a big way with a knockout of the year candidate against Tony Ferguson back in May.

UFC 281 Prediction

Michael Chandler is a sensational wrestler who is very explosive. However, he doesn’t really use his wrestling or he hasn’t used it much in the UFC. He tends to want to stand and trade with his opponents. There’s a reason why he likes to and it’s because he has ungodly power in his hands.

That being said, Chandler would be wise to mix in his wrestling tomorrow night. Yes, he has extremely powerful and fast hands. However, he’s facing arguably the best pure boxer in the lightweight division in Dustin Poirier.

Poirier is going to want to keep this fight standing and at range. His goal is to ultimately clip Chandler so he can start his downhill offense and put him away. Chandler would be wise to change levels, feint, and mix in takedown attempts. If Poirier is in his flow on the feet, it could be rough for Chandler.

I think both men are going to get cracked at times. However, I trust Poirier’s chin way more. Ultimately, I think Poirier lands something massive near the end of the first round. From there, he’ll blitz Chandler against the fence and unload a Chuck Liddell – Tito Ortiz 1 style combination that’ll put Chandler away.

Prediction: Dustin Poirier by TKO