One of the biggest matchups the UFC could make at 155 pounds has been signed and sealed.
Former UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier will take on three-time Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler in a three-round lightweight bout at UFC 281, which takes place November 12 at Madison Square Garden, New York. The bout was officially confirmed by the UFC during fight night at UFC 279, and promoted worldwide via their social media accounts.
— UFC (@ufc) September 11, 2022
The matchup will see Poirier finally get his chance to fight at MSG after his planned bout with Nate Diaz in 2018 was scrapped after “The Diamond” was ruled out due to injury.
But now the Louisiana native is back to full fitness and raring to go, and he’ll take on the always-entertaining Chandler in a dynamite matchup for the 155-pound division.
Chandler’s arrival in the UFC came with a big fanfare, and the former Bellator star has made a huge impact in his bouts inside the octagon so far.
He’s 2-2 under the UFC banner, but all four fights have delivered fireworks aplenty. His most recent outing saw him claim a knockout of the year contender with a stunning front-kick finish of Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 back in May.
Poirier, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back after falling short in his bid to capture the UFC lightweight title.
“The Diamond” was submitted in the third round of his title bout with Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 last December, and he’s keen to claim a high-profile victory to put him right back into the title conversation by the end of 2022.
The matchup is expected to form a main card matchup, billed just below the two scheduled title fights already booked for the card.
The main event will see undisputed middleweight champion Israel Adesanya take on former kickboxing foe Alex Pereira for the 185-pound title, while the co-main event will see former strawweight champion Zhang Weili bid to recapture the 115-pound title as she challenges two-time champion Carla Esparza.
UFC 281: Confirmed Bouts
- Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira – for middleweight title
- Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili – for women’s strawweight title
- Michael Chandler vs. Dustin Poirier
- Dan Hooker vs. Claudio Puelles
- Renato Moicano vs. Brad Riddell
- Ottman Azaitar vs. Matt Frevola
- Erin Blanchfield vs. Molly McCann
- Silvana Gomez Juarez vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
- Dominick Reyes vs. Ryan Spann
- Michael Trizano vs. Seung Woo Choi
- Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Carlos Ulberg
- Andre Petroski vs. Wellington Turman
Photo credit: @dustinpoirier / @mikechandlermma (Instagram)