The one UFC fight we’ve all been waiting for is between Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler. For many, this will be the most interesting matchup at the entire UFC 281. Two heavy hitters with bombs in their fists promise a fantastic battle, and it seems they could easily deliver one of the best of the year, knowing their reputation and style. Both of them were in a position to win the title, and both failed. Saturday’s clash could be vital for either’s prospects of getting another shot at the belt against the new champ, Islam Makhachev.
Dustin Poirier (28-7-1, -215) lost his previous event for the UFC lightweight against then-champion, Charles Oliveira. Even though Oliveira looked shaken early on with a few hard strikers taken, he would eventually submit the Diamond in the third round and end his dreams.
Up to that point, Dustin had three wins in a row, against Dan Hooker and two in a row over Conor McGregor, both via punches. His resume is full of fantastic names, and for example, Poirier has wins over Max Holloway, Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, etc. On the other side, his losses were to Chan Sung Jung, Conor early on, Michael Johnson, and Khabib, which was his first attack at the title.
Poirier is a strong and powerful striker, and his size for a lightweight is impressive, because of all the muscle and quick recovery following the weight cut. So he often enters the octagon much heavier than on the day before. Apart from superb stand-up, lately, he has been improving his wrestling, although he isn’t quite good when defending on the mat.
Michael Chandler (23-7, +165) had back-to-back losses following his debut in the UFC, but enters this fight following one big win. He beat Dan Hooker via first-round KO at the UFC 257 in his first UFC appearance, but after that lost to Oliveira in a title battle.
After that came arguably the best fight of 2021 when he and Justin Gaethje went back and forth on one another, and eventually, Chandler was on the losing side via decision. A highlight-reel front kick that put to sleep Tony Ferguson erased that, and from May until now, we haven’t seen a better finish.
Chandler is very powerful due to his small but stuffed frame, and that’s what makes his punches so powerful. He might have a shorter reach than most of his opponents, but bursts and explosions usually stun the rivals, who only then see Iron’s speed. Don’t forget that this guy, used to be a very dominant champion in the Bellator.
To be perfectly honest with you here, we expect to see a KO in this matchup. It would be stupid to guess and pick the winner of the battle, because one lucky punch could stop everything, and the chances for that are 50-50, despite everything that bookies and other analysts say. For the moment, the odds on that are -110, and obviously, that proves our claim that bookies as well expect to see a KO.
Pick: KO -110
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.