Justin Gaethje has shared an interesting theory as to why Dustin Poirier won’t fight fellow UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler.
The former interim UFC lightweight champion, Gaethje (22-3 MMA), believes ‘The Diamond’ is taking a stance against Dana White in order to bring integrity back to the sport.
“The reason why this is happening with Poirier is because Dana White used, he tried to, he did, he (explicit) Tony (Ferguson) and Dustin,” Justin Gaethje said in an interview with MMA Junkie. “He said (explicit) you guys, I’m going to take Chandler, and he’s going to be the backup for this title fight. That all happened four months ago. We are humans, we have principles, we have morals, and that’s what that is. That’s why Dustin Poirier is saying (he won’t fight Chandler). Well, I would assume. I don’t talk to the guy.”
Poirier and Chandler each earned highlight reel finishes at last month’s UFC 257 pay-per-view event. With that said, ‘The Diamond’ doesn’t seem to be interested in fighting the former Bellator champion next. Poirier recently suggested that Chandler should fight surging lightweight contender Charles Oliveira for the promotions vacant lightweight title next.
For Justin Gaethje, Poirier’s recent remarks are a clear indication that he feels disrespected by the UFC President.
“He didn’t just (explicit) Dustin Poirier, He didn’t just (explicit) on Tony Ferguson. He (explicit) on every single (explicit) fighter that wants to do it right and wants integrity to the sport, and that’s why Dustin Poirier is talking like he is.”
Justin Gaethje continued (via MMAMania):
“That’s just the truth. You remember how upset Tony and Dustin were when they didn’t put that fight together (at UFC 256). They were probably $50,000 or $100,000 off one of their contracts, and they didn’t put the contract together and those guys were ready to fight.
“They put it in the public, and that (explicit) is not right. I don’t like that as a fighter. I don’t like that as an employee. Well, I’m no (explicit) employee but being somebody that offers my services to the company. That’s not cool. You don’t want to see that. … I just know that’s why Dustin is saying what he’s saying, and that’s why he won’t fight Chandler for the title right now because they did that (explicit) in October. I don’t know it, but I’m pretty sure.”
Justin Gaethje has not competed since suffering a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 254 this past October. According to his manager Ali Abdelaziz, ‘The Highlight’ is ready and willing to fight Michael Chandler next.