Did UFC Try To Book Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler?

Michael Chandler’s UFC signing has brought about a lot of possibilities.

On Thursday, September 17, UFC President Dana White announced that Chandler signed with the promotion. Chandler is a three-time Bellator Lightweight Champion. Many wondered what Chandler would do during free agency and it didn’t take him long to sign on with the UFC.

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani took to his Twitter account to reveal that the UFC attempted to book Chandler against Dustin Poirier.

“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.”

Chandler is on standby for the UFC 254 main event. Headlining that card will be a title unification bout between UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim titleholder Justin Gaethje. Chandler will be in Abu Dhabi in case one of the headliners has to withdraw.

Before Chandler’s signing was made official, Helwani reported that the UFC was looking to book him against Tony Ferguson. With Ferguson urging the UFC to pay Poirier what he wants, and “The Diamond” wanting to return the favor by waiting for “El Cucuy,” it could explain why Chandler won’t be fighting at UFC 254 unless a headliner pulls out.

White confirmed the following to Brett Okamoto.

Dana White tells me Michael Chandler will definitely not have a fight at UFC 254. He is the backup, they won’t book him an opponent. Asked if that means Chandler is also next for whoever wins between Khabib and Justin. He said for now he’s the backup and they’ll go from there.”

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