Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) and McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) are expected to fight after they coached Season 31 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which airs Tuesdays on ESPN and ESPN+ through Aug. 15.
Having finished both men, Poirier sees McGregor’s precision being a problem for Chandler – if he still has it. McGregor is coming off a brutal leg break in a TKO loss to Poirier in July 2021, but “The Diamond” isn’t sure if Chandler will be able to capitalize on it.
“It’s going to be tough to do, being in an open stance, him being orthodox and Conor being southpaw,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “To calf kick or get around that ankle is going to be tough. He’s going to have to switch kick or switch stance, and that might get him in trouble, as well. I’m sure this long of a layoff and the team Conor has around him, he’s going to go in there recovered.
“It’s just if the timing and the want to be in there is still there. He’s saying it is, but we’ve got to see it in action. I think if he is similar to the guy he was, I think he stops Chandler. Every time Chandler fights, I’m going to watch because it’s always crazy. But I think Conor beats him.”
Chandler tried to wrestle Poirier (29-7 MMA, 21-6 UFC) when they fought at UFC 281, but Poirier submitted him in Round 3. However, Poirier still thinks Chandler needs to mix in his wrestling to beat McGregor.
“I think Chandler needs to wrestle early – slow Conor’s arms down, see if he can get some blood in those arms. Make him a little slower, and take his chances,” Poirier said.
Poirier returns to action July 29 when he rematches Justin Gaethje for the “BMF” title in the UFC 291 headliner at Delta Center in Salt Lake City.