Earlier this month, Chandler turned in one of the front-runners for Knockout of the Year when he slept Tony Ferguson with a front kick at UFC 274. After the bout, Chandler showed his interest in fights with Conor McGregor, Charles Oliveira, or Nate Diaz. But when the prospect of a fight with Poirier was suggested, Chandler was uninterested, saying that Poirier “disregarded” him when he came to the UFC and that he doesn’t believe Poirier is a draw. It was a stark change of tune from Chandler who was still targeting a fight with Poirier back in January. And according to Poirier, that’s because it’s all posturing.
“Just like when he grabbed the mic after he won, if you really believe these guys, the stuff they’re saying is real, you’re out of your mind,” Poirier said on The MMA Hour. “You think the guy forgot about me? The route to the title shot — Charles is still the champion, I’m No. 1.
“And who is a draw? I’m not that guy to point out and pick on people and do this, and stuff like that, but if we go to the numbers — which don’t lie — you were supporting cast in the last pay-per-view that you fought on. … Look at the numbers. What did we sell, six [hundred thousand pay-per-view buys]? What did they sell, over four [hundred thousand pay-per-view buys]? Who is a draw? I don’t know, I don’t play that s*** because I don’t really care, but don’t say stuff that you can find out the numbers and see who is watching more.”
While pay-per-view buys are hard to confirm, reports have it that Oliveira vs. Chandler sold 300,000 buys domestically, while Oliveria vs. Poirier sold 500,000, which certainly would seem to belie Chandler’s claims. However, one part of Chandler’s issues with Poirier, the belief that Poirier dismissed him when he joined the UFC, “The Diamond” says is spot on.
“For sure. He came in — he’s never beaten anybody coming off of a win in the UFC!” Poirier said. “He’s been dropped in his last three fights, he’s never beat somebody coming off of a win. What are Dan Hooker’s last five fights and what are Tony Ferguson’s last five fights, the two guys he beat in the UFC? What are their records in their last fights? And I’m not talking trash, I’m stating facts. It’s whatever, I’ll fight him too. I don’t care anymore, just book me something.”
The personal nature of the matter does seem to be an ongoing issue for Chandler, who was highly critical towards Poirier after he lost to Oliveira, saying Poirier quit. (He later apologized for his comments.) With Nate Diaz still in strange standoff with the UFC, Conor McGregor still on the sidelines, and Oliveira set to fight for the lightweight title he was stripped of, Chandler may not have any better options if he really is set on getting back to a title fight.
And according to Poirier, who has also been unsuccessfully chasing a fight with Diaz, it would be an opportunity to get back into the cage and fight that guarantees fireworks.
“Somebody’s going to get sparked out, for sure,” Poirier said. “Let’s go.”