Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler is the fight the people wanted, partly due to the “real” beef between the two which boiled over into a very public screaming match cage side at UFC 276.
But Chandler says it’s actually more on Poirier’s end than his.
“I’ve made fights personal in the past, and it’s never worked out really well,” Chandler while on the MMA Hour on Monday. “But truthfully, I think those moments or scenarios warranted somewhat of a personal beef, if you will. I really honestly have nothing against Dustin.”
Chandler continued to dissect how he thinks Poirier is acting.
“I think it’s personal because of me, but not toward me, if that makes sense,” he said. “I think Dustin’s been the guy for a very, very long time, and I was the guy who came in and have done what I’ve done. I don’t think it’s necessarily directed toward me personally, just this figure of this guy who is me stepping inside the cage.”
He also explained his side of the story when it came to the incident at UFC 276.
“I think that’s where this whole Dustin stuff happened,” Chandler said. “Basically, I was very respectful and nice to him, which I meant every word, and once we both got in the same organization, tensions started rising and [he thought], ‘I don’t know if I like that guy as much as I did, because now, he’s a competitor of mine.’”
Chandler isn’t a fool, he understands that a beef with Poirier ahead of their UFC 281 showing will pay off with more fan interest and a more interesting fight.
“People want it to be personal. He and I will, as we always do, go out there and bite down on our mouthpieces and get into a hard-fought scrap, and it will be entertaining, and like Dustin said, somebody’s most likely getting sparked out. So we’ll see what happens.”