Jon Anik believes ‘gangster’ Dustin Poirier doesn’t need an undisputed UFC title to cement legacy



UFC 281: Poirier v Chandler
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Like many, Jon Anik was blown away by Dustin Poirier‘s latest bout with Michael Chandler.

In the lightweight featured bout of the UFC’s November pay-per-view event at Madison Square Gardenk, Poirier submitted Chandler to cap off one of the craziest fights of the year.

“I don’t even know how to be articulate when talking about Dustin Poirier, I just want to call him an f’ing gangster and say, ‘Oh my f’ing God, this guy, man,’” Anik told MMA Fighting. “Durability, focus, boxing fundamentals — gosh, if you’re in an alley, don’t you want f****** guy [with you], bro?”

Despite the former interim titleholder coming up short on two occasions in his quest to become the undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Anik believes Poirier doesn’t even need to accomplish that mission to cement his legacy in the sport following his recent win over the always-game Chandler.

“Dustin Poirier is incredible, and I don’t think he needs an undisputed UFC lightweight championship to prove any sort of greatness,” Anik said. “This was a difficult matchup [for Poirier] in a lot of respects. Michael Chandler’s explosivity is a problem for a lot of people, and maybe if Chandler makes a little bit of a different decision at times in this fight, the narrative flips.

“Dustin Poirier’s ability to recognize when he’s hurt, bite down on the mouthpiece, and then, obviously, his skill set is such that he as able to submit a guy in this setting, his ability to rise to the occasion, and then just the attitude after the fact to tell Michael Chandler — however respectfully or not — that this is his house, the octagon, which he’s essentially competed 30 times. Huge night for Poirier in proving that his UFC body of work counts for a whole lot, and obviously I have buckets of respect for Chandler in defeat.”

Poirier has now won four of five and bounced back from his submission loss to then champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 this past December. For Chandler, he drops to 2-3 since coming over from Bellator, although “Iron” picked up his fourth post-fight bonus despite the loss to Poirier.

For Anik, who recently signed a new four-year deal to remain with the UFC, he appreciated having the best seat in the house for a fight like Poirier vs. Chandler.

“It’s crazy calling a fight like that, you can be sure. I hope we did it justice,” Anik explained. “Brian Stann was texting me that maybe we could’ve done that fight more justice with our commentary, but you know, best we could do.”

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