After coming up short of winning the lightweight championship last year against Charles Oliviera, Poirier made his return to the octagon looking for redemption at UFC 281 at the mecca of combat sports, Madison Square Garden.
It was far from an easy fight for the Lafayette native, but he was able to secure the win over Michael Chandler via rear naked choke.
Poirier kept his distance in the early part of the first round, dodging several kicks from the veteran Chandler. The Lafayette native was able to land a solid strike, but Chandler started to pour it on once he had Poirier cornered in the cage with several head strikes. Chandler took over with about two minutes left in the first round with a big takedown and locked in a nice crucifix. The fight got back off the ground and Poirier rocked Chander securing a knockdown with 30 seconds left but was unable to secure the win.
Chandler immediately opened the second round with a massive takedown and kept the fight on the ground for the bulk of the round. Chandler took the back and attempted to secure a rear naked choke but couldn’t completely lock in the hold. According to Poirier during the post-fight interview, Chandler was fish-hooking him to get to the neck. Chandler rained blows down on Poirier to end the second round firmly in control headed into the final round.
The final round of the lightweight bout felt very similar to what we saw in the first with Poirier keeping the distance. Chandler attempted a low takedown and countered into a rear naked choke that resulted in the win.
With the win, Poirier could be in line for another title opportunity. He would potentially face either the winner of the UFC 284 main event of Islam Makhachev or Alexander Volkanovski.
UFC 281 RESULTS
Alex Pereira def. Israel Adesanya via fifth-round TKO (punches) to win UFC Middleweight Championship
Zhang Weili def. Carla Esparza via second-round submission (rear naked choke) to win UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship
Dustin Poirier def. Michael Chandler via third-round submission (rear naked choke
Dan Hooker def. Pueless by Claudio Puelles via second-round TKO (body kick)
Chris Gutiérrez def. Frankie Edgar via first-round KO (knee)
Renato Moicano def. Brad Riddell via first-round submission (rear naked choke)
Ryan Spann def. Dominick Reyes via first-round knockout (punch)
Erin Blanchfield def. Molly McCann via first-round submission (kimura)
Andre Petroski def. Wellington Turman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Matt Frevola def. Ottman Azaitar via first-round knockout (punch)
Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Silvana Gomez Juarez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Michael Trizano def. Choi Seung-woo via first-round TKO (punches)
Montel Jackson def. Julio Arce via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Carlos Ulberg def. Nicolae Negumereanu via first-round TKO (punches)