Dustin Poirier emerged victorious with a submission victory over fellow top lightweight contender Michael Chandler after four rounds of back and forth bloody battle on Saturday night on UFC 281 main card in Saturday Night at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
The two lightweights always promise an action packed event whenever they are booked and that they delivered in this non title fight which will go down as one of the best fights on the card, exceeding all expectations with the fighters both giving their all in the Octagon, much to the pleasing of the Audience, who were louder in this fight than any other on the card.
Poirier (29-7 MMA, 21-6 UFC) and Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) both engaged in a brief feeling out process that subsequently transitioned into a wild back and forth bloody battle. Chandler started strong bouncing in and out of Poirier’s range and connecting a series of right hands, clearly hard enough to trouble his opponent, who tried too but couldn’t connect as the former Bellator champ was quick on his feet.
Chandler went in for a takedown but that was stuffed but still Poirier just couldn’t comprehend Chandler’s movement. A few more right hands and Poirier was covering up for a flurry before Chandler got his take down. There was a scramble but Poirier somehow managed to get back to his feet only to be supplied back to the Mat, sparking the chaotic part of the fight.
Poirier, who clearly was hurt in those exchanges started connecting some vicious combinations that definitely trouble Chandler and by the end of the round, they were both bloodied.
The second round was more of the same, as Chandler sent Poirier to the canvas early with a takedown and began working on guard but Chandler didn’t just lay back, he threw elbows and knees. The scramble ended with Poirier in danger of a rare naked choke but that was when Poirier accused him of putting his hands in his mouth for advantage.
Chandler couldn’t get the submission but was able to land a ground and pound, dominating Poirier till the end of the round.
The final round was all Poirier had and with that he worked towards the Center of the cage and controlled the fight with head strikes. Chandler responded with a huge lift, slamming Poirier, who did his best to avoid serious damage and after scrambling into a good position locked in a rare naked choke and forced Chandler to tap.
Poirier with the win bounced back to winning ways with the victory after losing his title challenge against Charles Oliveira almost a year ago at UFC 269.