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Michael Chandler can close in on another title shot with win vs. Dustin Poirier, ‘Dana White privilege’ or not

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Michael Chandler likes to use the catchphrase, “See you upstairs.” It wasn’t until his second fight in the UFC that he was truly near the top of one of the promotion’s most iconic divisions. In a first round fight with Charles Oliveira on May 15, 2021 at UFC 262, Chandler was in serious trouble with Oliveira and was on the verge of claiming the vacant lightweight title.

However, Oliveira pulled himself together and in one of the greatest fights of the year won the title by knocking him out in the second round.

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Chandler remains at the top of the division despite a 2-2 record, which leaves some wondering why the former Bellator champion got so many chances. At the UFC 262 press conference, legendary lightweight Tony Ferguson slammed everyone, saying that the only reason Chandler fought for the title in his The second UFC fight was a “Dana White perk”.

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White, the president of the UFC and almost everyone else laughed out loud at Ferguson’s phrase.

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Now, 18 months later, after a devastating knockout to the head of Ferguson, Chandler is in another big fight. He’s 2-2 in the promotion, but on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York, he’ll take on Dustin Poirier on the main card of UFC 281, in a fight he believes a win will give him another shot at the title. .

His stance, as expected, caused a lot of resentment from his peers and many fans.

But while we can leave the question of whether a potential win over Poirier that would put him 3-2 in five UFC fights is good enough to earn him a second title shot for later, there’s another reason Chandler gets so many opportunities. . It’s not Dana White’s privilege or white privilege, but rather what he does with those opportunities.

If fellow lightweight Justin Gaethje is the most exciting fighter in UFC history, Chandler is not far behind. As the bell rings to start a fight, Chandler launches out of his parachute at top speed, punching and kicking.

He fights at a frantic pace and there is rarely a lull. Fans often get up from their seats. And while he always vows to tone it down a bit, he admits that it’s tough and that it’s in his nature to always fight with a weapon at the ready.

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” Chandler told Sportzshala Sports of his attempts to fight more conservatively. “I really think the way I fight works. Most of the time it works better than it doesn’t, you know? So, you know, there are times when I want to take my foot off the gas a little bit and become a little more of a veteran. And I think you could see it in this fight. Don’t keep me in it, but we’ll see what happens.”

The reporter jokingly disputed his response, saying, “I don’t believe any of what you say about this.”

PHOENIX, AZ - May 7: (RL) Michael Chandler knocks out Tony Ferguson with a front kick in their lightweight bout during the UFC 274 event at the Footprint Center on May 7, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Louis Grass/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Among the many exciting fights that Michael Chandler has been involved in in the UFC is a kick to the face knockout of Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 in May. (Photo by Louis Grass/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Laughing, Chandler agreed.

“I like to start fast and then maybe we’ll settle in a bit,” Chandler said. “But we will definitely start quickly, as always.”

This style of fighting is close to White’s heart and has obviously helped the UFC grow its following, so there are others who like it.

So it’s not some sort of perk, it’s that Chandler takes any fight offered to him and then fights like a mad dog defending his territory.

However, in Poirier, he meets one of the greatest lightweights not only of this era, but of all time. Poirier also likes to fight at a fast pace, but he is smart, versatile and technical.

Poirier can usually dictate the course of the fight, and that will be a puzzle that Chandler will need to solve in order to win on Saturday. And although they exchanged a lot of rude words, there is a lot of mutual respect and admiration.

“I have a lot of respect for Poirier,” Chandler said. “I mean, there is no doubt that he and his work speak for themselves. So, you know, that was the fight I wanted when I came to the UFC. When I came to the UFC, I wanted this to be my first fight. [but it] did not materialize. And here we are, it materializes two years later.

“So yeah, dude, has this guy been fighting or defeating who’s who in the lightweight division for what, the last 10 years? You know, he has 28 fights or so in the UFC organization. So obviously he has a ton more tenure than me. And I’ve come in and made quite a buzz over the past two years and I want to add Dustin Poirier to my resume and hopefully my hand will go up.”

If he does, expect white privilege talk to flare up again, because if you beat Dustin Poirier, a title shot will never be far behind you.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 07: Michael Chandler celebrates his KO win over Tony Ferguson at Lightweight during UFC 274 at the Footprint Center on May 7, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Michael Chandler doing a black somersault from the top of the octagon after knocking out Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 in May. Chandler will face Dustin Poirier on Saturday at UFC 281 in New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


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