Dustin Poirier has backed Conor McGregor to stop Michael Chandler inside two rounds, provided that the Irishman is ‘100 percent dedicated and focused’.
McGregor and Chandler, both of whom have fought Poirier before, are set to square off later this year, though no date, location or weight class has been confirmed for the UFC bout.
Poirier suffered a TKO loss to McGregor in 2014, but the American exacted his revenge in January 2021 with a knockout win, before their trilogy fight six months later ended with McGregor suffering a broken leg. That contest went down as a TKO victory for Poirier, who submitted Chandler in each man’s most recent fight, in November 2022.
Poirier discussed McGregor vs Chandler on The MMA Hour this week, saying: “I think that if Conor comes back anything like he was, with his timing and rhythm, with the injury that he had and this long of a lay-off – and we’re not getting any younger either… if he comes back similar to who he was before he left, I think he stops Michael Chandler.
“If Conor is who he was before the injury and stuff, I think two rounds; I think the fight’s over in two rounds.
“If anybody can [dial back the clock], I think it would be [McGregor]. If he’s 100 percent dedicated and focused, and [he can] put the blinders on and really go at this with all of himself, I think he can. But we’ll see, man. That’s what makes it so interesting.”
McGregor’s 2014 victory over Poirier was a key moment on the Irishman’s journey to winning the UFC featherweight title, which he secured in 2015. A year later, McGregor claimed the lightweight belt to become the first dual-weight champion in UFC history.
Meanwhile, Poirier is a former interim lightweight champion who has twice failed to win the undisputed belt. Compatriot Chandler is a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion, who has also unsuccessfully challenged for the UFC lightweight title.
McGregor’s back-to-back bouts with Poirier in 2021 feature heavily in McGregor Forever, the second documentary covering the 34-year-old’s career. The four-part series was released on Netflix this month, and you can read The Independent’s review here.
Poirier is due to return to the ring in July, taking on Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 291. The vacant ‘Baddest Motherf*****’ title will be on the line in the all-American clash, which is a rematch of a 2018 bout won by Poirier.
Poirier stopped Gaethje, a fellow former interim lightweight champion, in the fourth round.
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