UFC 281 Betting Preview – Dustin Poirier opens as decent favorite over Michael Chandler ahead of MSG clash

Dustin Poirier
Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato

With this week’s confirmation of a blockbuster, long-anticipated lightweight showdown between former interim UFC lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier, and veteran contender, Michael Chandler at UFC 281 on November 12. – betting lines have already opened across multiple markets ahead of the massive Madison Square Garden matchup. 

Poirier, who currently sits as the #2 ranked lightweight contender, sits just beneath former opponent and most recent division champion, Charles Oliveira in the division pecking order – following their December showdown.

Headlining UFC 269 against Oliveira, the Sao Paulo native successfully defended his lightweight title with a third round, standing rear-naked choke win over Poirier, dispatching the Lafayette striker in a back-and-forth battle.

The loss snapped an impressive run of three consecutive victories for Dustin Poirier atop the lightweight division – including a pair of wins over former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor last year, the second of which courtesy of a doctor’s stoppage TKO win in July – after the Dubliner fractured his left tibia

Earlier this week, the UFC Chief Business Officer, Hunter Campbell confirmed that the promotion are set to field a mouth-watering, three round lightweight fight between Poirier and Chandler to take place on November 12. at the penultimate flagship event of the year; UFC 281, sending fans and pundits alike into raptures as a result. 

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Speculation has been rife regarding a potential future fight between both Dustin Poirier and Chandler since the latter’s May knockout win over Tony Ferguson, with the two almost coming to unsanctioned blows on fighter row at UFC 276 back in July during International Fight Week – with security and officials well-placed to prevent a spill out.

Poirier has made his feelings toward Chandler’s quick ascension through the lightweight pile known, particularly ahead of the latter’s title challenge against the aforenoted, Oliveira back in May of last year, questioning his demeanour to boot.

Naturally, the two have the perfect opportunity to settle their rather leftfield rivalry in an end-of-year clash, with the former interim gold holder initially placed as a betting favorite over Chandler out the blocks in many markets.

Viewed as decent value for money – to the tune of -200 on many bookies markets, Dustin Poirier – whose sole other losses in the five years, have only come against Oliveira, and the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov

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Dustin Poirier opens as decent betting favorite ahead of UFC 281

As for Chandler, the Kill Cliff MMA staple and Henri Hooft product has brought fireworks in abundance to the Octagon since his landing in the promotion in January of last year, however, punters will have to part with underdog money of +170 if they choose to back Missouri underdog Chandler – which they can do over at Ignition Casino

Enjoying a gold-laden and hugely-successful spell since his 2015 lightweight division move, Dustin Poirier, who holds an impressive 12-3(1) record at 155lbs, had only failed to see his hand raised against both Michael Johnson and Eddie Alvarez – the latter of which he turned right with a rematch knockout win.

Exercising 2014 featherweight demons against McGregor on ‘Fight Island’ in January of last year, Poirier turned in a splendid striking display against the 34-year-old Crumlin star with a brutal barrage of second round strikes in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

With the victory, Dustin Poirier added the Dubliner to prior victories over other former high-level champions including Max Holloway, Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, and the above-mentioned, Alvarez.

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Landing in the promotion off the back of three separate title reigns under the Scott Coker-led Bellator MMA banner, Chandler got off the mark in the organization in spectacular fashion of his own with his own ‘Fight Island’ knockout win against Dan Hooker. 

Giving up back-to-back losses to Oliveira and common-foe, Gaethje, Chandler set up his blockbuster bout with Dustin Poirier courtesy of a massive front kick KO win over Ferguson earlier this year.

Dropping the opening round against the incoming UFC 279 co-headliner, Chandler sprang with a huge second round front kick in the early goings of the second round in Phoenix, Arizona – becoming the first fighter to finish Ferguson with strikes in professional mixed martial arts.

The addition of Poirier x Chandler to UFC 281 in November further adds firepower to a card which features an undisputed title doubleheader – with Israel Adesanya, and Alex Pereira clashing for middleweight spoils. In the night’s co-main event, strawweight queen Carla Esparza featured opposite former titleholder, Zhang Weili.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.