DUSTIN POIRIER has weighed in on the fight between his old rivals Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler.
Poirier beat Chandler in November as the pair put on a thriller at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
But his history with McGregor dates back to 2014 when he was knocked out inside a round of their featherweight bout.
Poirier, 34, would return the favour with a second-round KO in the rematch in January 2021, leading to a trilogy decider that July.
But it ended in chaos when McGregor, 34, broke his leg seconds before the opening round finished.
The Irishman has been sidelined since but it set to return against Chandler, 37, after they coached on The Ultimate Fighter against each other.
And Poirier believes if McGregor can get back to his former self then he should win the comeback bout.
He said on The MMA Hour: “I think that if Conor comes back anything like he was with his timing and rhythm – but with the injury that he had and this long off a layoff and we are not getting any younger, either – if he comes back similar to who he was before he left, I think he stops Michael Chandler.
“If Conor is who he was before the injury and stuff, I think two rounds, I think the fight is over in two rounds.
“If anybody can, I think it would be him if he’s 100 per cent dedicated, focused and put the blinders on so he can go at this with all of himself I think he can, but we’ll see and that’s what makes it so interesting.”
The UFC in April announced that McGregor would face Chandler next after starring on reality TV series TUF.
But the show – where contenders live, train and fight together for a UFC contract – has already been filmed and set to air.
Still no date, venue or weight has been confirmed for McGregor’s fight with Chandler, raising concerns.
And the Irishman is required to do six-months worth of United States Anti-Doping tests before being cleared to fight following his recent break.
But the former two-weight champion, speaking at his pub in Ireland, appeared to confirm the testing issues are resolved.
McGregor said: “That’s done, man. That’s done. Year end, I’m back in that cage having competed. I’m gearing up ready to go.”
USADA later that he is set to re-enter the testing pool but will need half a year of clean tests before being cleared to fight.
A statement read: “We have recently been in direct contact with Conor McGregor, and as he confirmed today in the media, we expect to receive his paperwork coming out of retirement and re-entering the USADA testing pool immediately.
“Like other athletes who come out of retirement, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, McGregor will be subject to testing for at least six months and must provide at least two negative samples before being permitted to compete.
“The purpose of this rule is to ensure that all athletes who are not subject to a period of testing are adequately tested over a reasonable period of time before competing to ensure a level playing field for all athletes.”
McGregor also claimed confirmation for his fight against Chandler is set to be revealed after the release of TUF.
He said: “Michael Chandler, yeah. It will be announced during The Ultimate Fighter.
“So The Ultimate Fighter is airing now in a couple of days on ESPN, and by the time that show finishes we’ll have a date and everything set for the fans.”