Chandler (23-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has made four appearances inside the octagon. During those four bouts, he has battled for the lightweight championship, been involved in a Fight of the Year candidate with Justin Gaethje, and been knocked out by Tony Ferguson. He has a bout scheduled against Dustin Poirier for Saturday’s main event of UFC 281.
Beneil Dariush, a lightweight competitor, criticized Chandler for putting too much emphasis on showmanship, but Chandler maintains that this strategy has served him more than it has hurt him. The outstanding wrestler did hint, though, that he plans to take things more slowly while facing Poirier.
“I love what I do and I do think the way that I fight works out better more often than not,” Chandler said during a interview.
“There’s times that I want to take my foot off the gas, be a little bit more of a veteran, and I think you might see that in this fight. Don’t hold me to it, but we’ll see what happens.
“I do like to start fast, and then maybe we’ll settle in a little bit. But we’ll definitely start fast as always.”
The fighter intends to make an immediate impact versus Poirier (28-7 MMA, 20-6 UFC), since his penchant for a quick start has led in 13 first-round finishes.
“Dustin Poirier is not a crazy hard puzzle to solve. I don’t say that it’s not a hard fight, but he’s very brilliant with the basics,” Chandler said.
“He’s very good at striking. He’s very good in the grappling and grappling defense department.
“There’s not a lot of places where you can exploit Dustin Poirier because he’s got a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of experience, but I’m going to go out there, start fast, get in his face fast, hopefully make him second guess himself pretty fast, mix it up – do exactly what I need to do in all areas of mixed martial arts, and go out there and get my hand raised. But I do think I get the finish.”
This Saturday, at New York’s Madison Square Garden, is where UFC 281 will take place.