UFC’s next New York event is starting to take shape after it was announced that Dustin Poirier will likely face Michael Chandler on the card.
On Wednesday, veteran MMA reporter Ariel Helwani claimed the thrilling lightweight bout was “close to being finalized” for UFC 281 which takes place in New York’s Madison Square Garden on November 12.
“I’m told by multiple sources that the highly anticipated and much-discussed fight between Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler is about to be finalized for this November comeback card at MSG,” Helwani said on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.
It came just hours after Poirier excited his fans with his latest social media post: “Fight news coming soon,” the former interim UFC lightweight champion wrote on Twitter.
A fight between Poirier and Chandler has been at the top of many MMA fans’ wish list since their clash at UFC 276 in July.
Both men were in Las Vegas for the massive UFC International Fight Week pay-per-view event, but it was Poirier who caught Chandler’s eye as his lightweight rival passed.
UFC 276 security intervened to break up the confrontation, but that didn’t stop Poirier and Chandler who both separately attempted to reunite.
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UFC President Dana White has made it clear that in addition to Poirier vs. Chandler, he would also like to see Paddy Pimblett make his pay-per-view debut in New York later this year.
However, ‘The Baddy’ has adamantly ruled out fighting in The Big Apple as he fears being taxed a big chunk of his purse if he fights at UFC 281.
“I’m not fighting in New York, fine. I don’t fight in New York. I don’t get robbed by the taxman,” Pimblett told the assembled media on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old is on the verge of stardom after picking up three stoppage wins and a legion of new fans since joining the UFC in 2021.
After back-to-back fights in England, it looks like the UFC is planning to take arguably their brightest prospect to America for their next bouts and it could be a while before he competes on British soil again.