UFC lightweight Michael Chandler spoke with Ariel Helwani of ESPN earlier today following his massive UFC debut victory where he knocked out Top 10 lightweight, Dan Hooker, in the co main event for UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2. During the interview, Chandler was asked about his thoughts regarding Dustin Poirier’s claim that Chandler hasn’t “earned” a title shot against him yet.
“I say this in the most respectful way possible,” Chandler said. “This whole ‘earning it’ thing, ‘The kid hasn’t earned it. Chandler hasn’t earned it. Michael hasn’t earned it, earned it, earned it,’ it’s like listen man, yeah I’m new to the UFC but I’m not new to the sport. I’m going on 30 fights here in the next couple fights. I got 27 fights of hand to hand combat under the unified rules of mixed martial arts. Maybe it wasn’t in an octagon. Maybe it wasn’t in the same cage that you have fought in 20 something times. But I’ve done it. And I’ve done it with some of the best of them. I’ve done it with former UFC champions. I’ve done it with a lot of them,” adding, “Don’t use the phrase, ‘hasn’t earned it’ around me.”
“Now I just came into your organization,” Chandler said, directly addressing Poirier. “I just came into the Top 5. Kicked down the door. Knocked out a guy in two and a half minutes that you couldn’t finish in 25 minutes, and I think I’ve cemented myself as the top guy.”
“Have I earned it in the UFC yet? No. But if that’s the case I’m not gonna earn it in the UFC, to his standards, for the next 10 fights. The guy’s got 26 fights in the UFC. At what point do I earn it,” he said.