Michael Chandler plans to steal Alex Volkanovski’s title shot with “undeniable” performance against Dustin Poirier at UFC 281

By Susan Cox - November 10, 2022

Michael Chandler plans to steal Alex Volkanovski’s title shot with an ‘undeniable’ performance against Dustin Poirier at UFC 281.

Michael Chandler, UFC, Black History Month

Michael Chandler is speaking out ahead of this Saturday’s fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

It will be Michael Chandler (23-7 MMA) vs Dustin Poirier (28-7 MMA) in a lightweight bout.

Chandler, 36, will be entering the Octagon sporting 4 wins in his last 6 fights, the latest win coming against Tony Ferguson (25-8 MMA) in May of this year at UFC 274.

Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler

Poirier, 33, also has 4 wins in his last 6 fights, most recently being defeated by Charles Oliveira (33-9 MMA) in December of 2021 at UFC 269.

Speaking at a pre-fight press conference, Chandler had this to say (h/t MMAFighting):

“I think if there’s a guy out there who deserves to move up I think it is Alex Volkanovski. Obviously, the selfish part of me says I don’t want that to happen. I understand how it makes a ton of sense from the promoter standpoint, from the UFC standpoint. You’ve got the No. 1 pound-for-pound guy in the world versus the No. 3 pound-for-pound guy in the world, but I also think that Islam (Makhachev) has proved himself to be our champion and is our champion and we have to accept that and I think he’s a phenomenal talent.”

Continuing Michael Chandler said:

“I also think he has to have his first title defense against a lightweight. He needs to get through another lightweight before they start talking about superfights. Once again, I don’t say that to say that the UFC is making a bad decision or the wrong decision if they make that decision to let Volkanovski move up, but I think when I handle business on Saturday night it will be undeniable that they’re going to want to see good, ol’ fashioned, passion and American wrestling versus Dagestani Sambo, Dagestani grappling. That’s what I hope we get to see.”

Concluding ‘Iron’ said:

“I honestly think my wrestling will stop his attacks. I think I can take him down. I think I can match him grappling for grappling and I think in the striking department I’ve got more power, I’m faster, and I have better hands. That’s me speaking confidently, obviously, a ton of respect for him. But I do think it’s the most intriguing matchup in the lightweight division. There’s not a better wrestler on the lightweight roster than me. My credentials speak for themselves, being a Division-I All-American is kind of the epitome of wrestling accomplishment. So I think I match up extremely well.”

“I think I beat him, but that’s what we all say. That’s what Charles said, that’s what I said about Charles. So hopefully we see that fight early 2023.”

Obviously Chandler first has to defeat Poirier this coming Saturday at UFC 281. By all accounts he’s confident in his strategy to defeat ‘The Diamond’ as well as steal Volkanovski’s title shot.

Do you believe Michael Chandler deserves a shot at the title if he defeats Poirier this weekend?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!

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Alex Volkanovski Michael Chandler UFC UFC 281