Michael Chandler vs. Dustin Poirier official for UFC 281; Chandler inks new deal


A targeted fight between Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier is official for UFC 281.

Multiple sources with information about the promotion confirmed to MMA Fighting that the finalization for the lightweight matchup was completed. It had been initially scheduled for the live pay-per view event at Madison Square Garden, New York City on November 12. ESPN.com reported on Wednesday the booking of the fight.

The official placement of Chandler vs. Poirier on the fight card is not yet known; the ESPN+ pay-per-view card is headlined by a middleweight title fight between champ Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira; the scheduled co-headliner fight is a strawweight title fight between champ Carla Esparza and Zhang Weili.

Chandler’s management also confirmed to MMA Fighting, that Chandler had signed a multi-fight deal with UFC. Terms of the agreement were not revealed. His previous performance against Tony Ferguson, ex-interim champion of Bellator, was a major boost to his stock. He won a round-two front-kick knockout at UFC 274..

Eight months have passed since Poirier’s second attempt for the UFC lightweight title. It ended in a submission defeat to Charles Oliveira, who is currently champ. The former interim lightweight champ contemplated a move to the welterweight division before agreeing to face Chandler.

Once strongly opposed to the challenge of facing the ex-Bellator champion, Poirier has been targeting Chandler both on social media as well as in person. Poirier was caught confronting Chandler at UFC 276, exchanging expletives and then being seperated.

Poirier’s loss to Oliveira snapped a three-fight winning streak that included back-to-back wins over former two-division champ Conor McGregor. He initially fell short for the undisputed title against the now-retired Khabib Nurmagomedov, losing by third-round submission at UFC 242.