UFC 281: Dustin Poirier “Heartbroken” by Oliveira Loss, “Very Focused” for Chandler

After signalling the he might retire following a failed title bid against Charles Oliveira last December, Dustin Poirier finally returns at UFC 281 in New York City this Saturday.

Ahead of the fight, “Diamond” addressed his response to his loss against Oliveira.

“Immediately after the fight I was heartbroken. But fighting is what I do,” Poirier explained. He remains motivated, remains focused ahead of his return, in a high-profile lightweight fight opposite Michael Chandler. “I’m always motivated. I’m always motivated. This one I’m just very focused.”

It’s not the match-up in particular that has Poirier (28-7, 1NC) so focused, mind you. “It’s all about me. It has nothing to do with anybody out side of that. Any opponent or circumstance or anything.”

“Bouncing back, righting the ship, all those things are very important,” he would add.

Asked later if the fight with Chandler, a former Bellator champ who came into the UFC as a key free agent signing, was personal, Poirier downplayed the situation.

“Every fight is a bit personal to me. We’re going to go in there and try to hurt each other. That’s every fight. But it’s just business. It’s just business as always.”

At the same time, Chandler and Poirier butted heads in a recent split screen interview. “That whole thing was just about him, I thought he was a little fake in some interviews and stuff like that. That’s what that was about,” Poirier said on that front. Later, asked if they might bury the hatchet following Saturday, Poirier wasn’t sure. “I honestly don’t know him personally, I just know him from the experience of, I’ve had run-ins with him and small conversations at different events, and then I see interviews he does when asked about me. Things just are different, but we’ll see. I’ll shake his hand for sure.”

As for what Chandler brings to the cage, it’s “nothing that I haven’t seen, but he does a few things very well,” Poirier said. “He’s very athletic, very explosive, covers distance well, throws big power. Can wrestle well. And has a lot of high-level experience.”

Dustin Poirier faces Michael Chandler at UFC 281 this Saturday, November 12, 2022 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY.