Former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier is a man of his word. Poirier has reportedly turned down the opportunity to welcome Michael Chandler to the UFC out of loyalty to Tony Ferguson, the man he was initially supposed to fight.
Last week, the UFC announced that former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler has signed a free-agent contract with the promotion. The signing was followed by a unique announcement as UFC president Dana White confirmed that Chandler would serve as the backup for the blockbuster UFC 254 main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. Very few fighters, if any, have ever been gifted the opportunity to fight for the title on their Octagon debut but if something were to happen to either Khabib or Gaethje ahead of the fight, Chandler might just become a champion on his very first fight in the UFC.
One White announced Chandler as the backup, many wondered why he wasn’t booked against Tony Ferguson or Dustin Poirier, who were supposed to co-headline UFC 254 until negotiations failed between "The Diamond" and the promotion. White recently stated that since Poirier “didn’t want to fight”, the UFC decided to remove both him and Ferguson from the October card.
According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, following the cancellation of the fight against Tony Ferguson, the UFC offered Dustin Poirier the opportunity to fight Michael Chandler at UFC 254.
However, according to Helwani’s sources, Poirier refused to take the fight due to his loyalty with Ferguson, who even took to social media to ask Dana White to give the former a raise on his UFC contract so that the fight can take place.
According to sources, UFC offered Dustin Poirier the Michael Chandler fight yesterday but they couldn’t come to terms. One issue was the same as before – pay – but also sources say DP wanted to show the same loyalty to Tony Ferguson, who advocated for him both publicly/privately.Published 18 Sep 2020, 23:59 IST