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Morning Report: Michael Chandler calls Dustin Poirier ‘hardest puncher’ he’s ever fought

UFC 281: Poirier v Chandler Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Michael Chandler has been to hell and back in wars with Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.

The BMF title has returned and is up for grabs in the main event of UFC 291 in Salt Lake City, Utah tomorrow night. Set to rematch after their April 2018 fight-of-the-year encounter, Poirier and Gaethje battle for supremacy and hopes of getting closer to undisputed UFC gold.

Lightweight is full of all-action fighters and all pairings between Chandler, Poirier, and Gaethje have proven that. Two of Chandler’s last three appearances saw him put forth valiant efforts against “The Diamond” and “The Highlight” but fell short on both occasions. Each was a fight of the night winning outing and nothing new for Chandler in his exciting 31-fight career. However, of all the great opponents he’s had, his most recent hit him harder than the rest.

“As far as power, people ask me, ‘Who’s the hardest puncher that you’ve ever been hit by?’” Chandler said on his YouTube channel. “Dustin Poirier. Dustin Poirier broke my nose in that fight. Every single shot was a thud. His ability — if you guys watch his training, I’m not here to promote him and these guys, but go watch his training on Instagram. His bag work, when you watch the way that his hips, his feet, his shoulders, his core, everything turns on every single punch when he’s doing that bag work. That’s where he generates all of his power.

“Justin Gaethje has the speed advantage but he kind of just throws those things as fast as he can, hopes they land. When they do land, they hurt but they’re less of a thud than Dustin Poirier’s.”

Ironically, Poirier defeated Chandler via a third-round rear-naked choke rather than knocking him out. The Louisiana native is capable of putting away any fighter at 155 pounds and if it weren’t for Chandler’s wrestling, he may have wound up on the wrong end of said finish.

In fight No. 1, Poirier stopped Gaethje early into round four with heavy shots, and this time around, Chandler is giving the overall cardio edge to Gaethje. The high elevation has been a common factor discussed by those competing, but is something that isn’t expected to matter for Gaethje unless thumped to the body over time, says Chandler. The former interim titlist does train at Team Elevation in Denver, Colorado, after all.

This rematch revived the BMF title for a reason and knowing both men, it very well may just come down to who wants it more.

“Who’s the bigger dog? Who’s the bigger savage? Who’s the bigger BMF?” Chandler asked. “I gotta go with a tie on that one. There’s no way for anybody out there, unless you’re a big-time homer for Justin Gaethje or Dustin Poirier, for either of them to be chosen as the bigger dog or bigger savage.

“My prediction, I think Justin Gaethje cleaning things up, fighting a little bit more tactically, realizing that a 25-minute fight is so long when you’re in there ... I think you’re gonna see a more composed Justin Gaethje. My prediction is Justin Gaethje wins via decision. Similar to what we saw against him and Tony Ferguson. Obviously, we know he finished Tony Ferguson late, late in the fight. I don’t think he finishes Poirier but I do think he beats him without output, by not being taken down, by those leg kicks.”


Rematch. Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje tout UFC 291 as ‘legacy fight,’ address BMF belt vs. interim title comparison

Test. How to judge an MMA (with quiz)

Bold. Michael Bisping: Jon Jones doesn’t ‘hold a candle to Tom’ Aspinall, loses in same way as Marcin Tybura

Future. Patricky Pitbull ‘sad’ with potential Bellator sale but ‘already thinking’ about PFL fighters

Matchup. Nathaniel Wood up for ‘Battle of the Brits’ with Lerone Murphy, would rather retire than cut back down to 135

Poatan. Alex Pereira explains viral Walmart video, talks UFC 291 matchup with Jan Blachowicz

Return. Michael Chiesa unconcerned with nearly two-year layoff ahead of UFC 291: ‘It feels like I never left’

Scary. Derrick Lewis blacked out in weight cut prior to recent loss: ‘I thought I died’


Between the Links.

UFC 291 Pre-Fight Presser Staredowns.

Embedded 4.

Bellator in Japan.

PFL Fight Camp Confidential 1.

Fear the throwback.

Poatan Fight Week Day 2.

Fancy kneebar.


Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses who has the most to lose at UFC 291. Plus, Tony Ferguson’s wild media day.







Just a couple of Pereiras.

Kana time.





Giga Chikadze (14-3) vs. Alex Caceres (21-13); UFC Singapore, Aug. 26

Taylor Lapilus (18-3) vs. Muin Gafurov (18-5); UFC Paris, Sept. 2

Daniel Rodriguez (17-4) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (30-7); UFC Las Vegas, Sept. 16

Rafael Fiziev (12-2) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (22-2); UFC Vegas 79, Sept. 23

Bryce Mitchell (15-1) vs. Dan Ige (17-6); UFC Vegas 79, Sept. 23

Sodiq Yusuff (13-2) vs. Edson Barboza (23-11); UFC Vegas 81, Oct. 14


A violent MMA weekend is nearly upon us, friends. Bask in it!

Happy Friday. Thanks for reading!



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