Dustin Poirier has backed Conor McGregor to stop Michael Chandler in two rounds, provided the Irishman is “100% dedicated and focused”.
McGregor and Chandler, who have both fought Poirier before, are set to square off later this year, although no date, location or weight class has been confirmed for the UFC fight.
Poirier suffered a TKO loss to McGregor in 2014, but the American got his revenge in January 2021 with a knockout victory, before their trilogy fight ended six months later with McGregor breaking his leg. That contest ended in a TKO victory for Poirier, who submitted Chandler in each man’s most recent fight, in November 2022.
Poirier discussed McGregor vs. Chandler on MMA hour this week, saying: “I think if Conor comes back the way he was, with his timing and pace, with the injury he’s had and that long layoff – and we’re not getting any younger either.. S’ he comes back the same as he was before he left, i think he stops Michael Chandler.
“If Conor is what he was before the injury and all, I think two rounds; I think the fight is over in two rounds.
“If anyone can [dial back the clock]i think it would be [McGregor]. If he is 100% dedicated and focused, and [he can] put on the blinders and really go with everything himself, I think he can. But we’ll see, man. That’s what makes it so interesting.
McGregor’s 2014 win over Poirier was a key moment in the Irishman’s journey to winning the UFC featherweight title, which he earned in 2015. A year later, McGregor won the lightweight belt to become the first doubleweight champion in UFC history.
Meanwhile, Poirier is a former interim lightweight champion who twice failed to win the undisputed belt. Countryman Chandler is a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion who also unsuccessfully challenged for the UFC lightweight title.
McGregor’s back-to-back fights with Poirier in 2021 feature heavily in McGregor forever, the second documentary spanning the 34-year-old’s career. The four-part series hit Netflix this month, and you can read The IndependentThe 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 American clash, which is a rematch of a 2018 fight won by Poirier.
Poirier stopped Gaethje, another former interim lightweight champion, in the fourth round.
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