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Alvarez and Poirier Predict Chandler vs. McGregor

4 days ago

Conor McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) and Michael Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) who coaches the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter 31, are expected to fight late this year, pending McGregor’s re-entry into the USADA testing pool. The Ultimate Fighter 31 is set to debut next week on May 30th. With the TUF season on the horizon, Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez have given their take on the upcoming fight between McGregor and Chandler.

Poirier Gives McGregor the Edge

Poirier has a history with both McGregor and Chandler. Poirier has a trilogy with McGregor, going 2-1 in those three fights, losing the first fight by KO back in 2014 at UFC 178, and then winning the second by KO at UFC 257 and UFC 264, Poirier won the rubber match by TKO due to a doctor stoppage when McGregor suffered a gruesome leg injury in the first round. Most recently Poirier defeated Chandler by submission at UFC 281 in November last year.

Poirier was on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani earlier today and was asked about the fight that has yet to be made official between McGregor and Chandler. Ariel Helwani asked, “Do you think Conor (McGregor) beats (Michael) Chandler, you know them both very well now.”

Poirier answered, “I’ve got that question a bunch Ariel, I think if Conor comes back anything like he was with his timing and rhythm, with the injury that he had and this long of a layoff, we’re not getting any younger either. If he comes back similar to who he was before he left I think he stops Michael Chandler.” Helwani then asked if it’d be earlier or later in the fight. “If Conor is who he was before the injury, I think two rounds. Fights over in two rounds.” Helwani then asked if Poirier thought McGregor could get back to his winning ways, and Poirier said “If anybody can, I think it would be him if he’s 100% dedicated and focused. Put the blinders on and really go at this with all of himself, I think he can.”

Eddie Alvarez Implores Chandler to Change his Style

Alvarez too has faced both McGregor and Chandler. The only difference is Alvarez fought McGregor in the UFC, McGregor defeated Alvarez via second-round TKO for the Lightweight Title at UFC 205 in November 2016. Alvarez and Chandler share their past in the Bellator cage.  Having fought twice both times for the Bellator Lightweight title. Chandler won the first fight in 2011 via. Second round sub and Alvarez won the second fight by split decision, which was Alvarez’s last fight before joining the UFC.

Speaking to Jon Anik on ESPN’s Preview Show of The Ultimate Fighter, Anik asked what Alvarez’s expectations were when they lock the octagon door behind them, Alvarez said, “What a hell of a fight and a lot of questions to be answered with Conor’s time off. Conor of course is not going to be the same Conor that he was back during his Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, myself when he was fighting them. He was quite active, he was fighting three and four times a year, so we wouldn’t expect the same exact guy who was excited about winning world titles. Will we see that resurgence of energy, enjoyment, excitement, and gratitude toward the game of MMA and I feel that we will. Mike Chandler is a hell of an athlete, I just think stylistically, the way he’s been fighting and the strategy he’s been going about fighting isn’t the way to get it done against Conor McGregor.”

Alvarez then gave Chandler advice, “I would implore him if I was his coach to change his style, to go for single legs, to go for shots and force Conor to wrestle early. You have to force him to wrestle early so he (doesn’t) have the powerful tools that he’s able to take advantage of in all of these other guys, quick feet, good range, great striking, you take that away when you wrestle him early. Wrestle him early enough and tire his shoulders down, tire his legs down, slow him down and he’s half the striker that he can be when he’s fully energized. The problem with Mike Chandler that I’m seeing is that he’s trying to please the fans too much and that doesn’t always win you a world title. Pleasing the fans is great, it’ll make you millions of dollars, it’ll do all of that but getting the gold and then keeping the gold, it’s sort of a selfish thing and maybe he needs to be a little more selfish in his game planning to win the fight rather than to excite the crowd.”

What do you make of both Poirier and Alvarez’s statements, who do you think wins between Chandler and McGregor? Let us know in the comments below!

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