Dustin Poirier discusses options for Michael Chandler’s UFC debut

Dustin Poirier, Fight Island
Image: @dustinpoirier

Dustin Poirier believes Michael Chandler should get a tough test in his UFC debut—somebody like recent lightweight title challenger Justin Gaethje.

Chandler, the former Bellator lightweight champion, signed with the UFC earlier this year, but has yet to take his first steps into the Octagon. That being said, it sounds like he will do so in the very near future.

While it’s not yet clear who Chandler will fight in his UFC debut, Poirier would like to see him thrown to the wolves right off the bat. More specifically, Poirier would like to see Chandler matched up with Gaethje, who has not fought since he was defeated by Khabib Nurmagomedov last month. Poirier also sees Dan Hooker as an option, but seems to prefer the Gaethje matchup for the former Bellator champ’s UFC debut.

“I would think it would probably be him and Gaethje before him and Hooker,” Poirier told MMA Junkie, weighing the options for Poirier’s debut. “If you’re going to toss him into the top of the division and giving him this push, give him the former interim champ who jut came off a title fight. That’s a great measuring stick to see where he’s at.”

Chandler was briefly linked to a debut opposite long-time lightweight contender Tony Ferguson. In the end, however, Ferguson was matched up with Brazilian submission specialist Charles Oliveira. Poirier believes that’s a fantastic matchup too.

“That’s a fun fight,” Poirier said. “Any fight Tony’s involved in – even Charles – he’s such a fun guy to watch. A finisher, a veteran who has been around a lot time. Those two guys are going to do a great fight.”

Dustin Poirier is currently gearing up for a fight with Conor McGregor, which headlines the UFC 257 card on January 23. The bout will be a rematch of a 2014 featherweight fight, which McGregor won by first-round knockout.

Who do you want to see Michael Chandler fight in his UFC debut?

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