This past Saturday, Chandler took on former UFC interim lightweight champion Poirier on the main card of UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden in New York. ‘Iron’ Mike came out firing from the start and managed to hurt Poirier early, but ‘Diamond’ recovered quickly and turned the tides in his favor. They left it all inside the octagon to put on a show for the fans that ultimately saw Poirier finish Chandler with a rear-naked choke in the third round.
Following the hard-fought war, Poirier was still fired up during his post-fight octagon interview and complained to referee Dan Miragliotta about some of his opponent’s tactics in the fight.
At the post-fight press conference for UFC 281, Poirier shared his thoughts on finally competing with Chandler after weeks of heated buildup. He criticized Chandler for using dirty tactics, including the fish hook, which the replay seemed to confirm.
“I told him this is my house,” Poirier said (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “That’s what I told him. ‘This is my house.’ That’s it. And I told him he’s a dirty motherf*****, too, for putting his fingers in my mouth and blowing his nose. It’s all good.”
Chandler Defended His Actions
Chandler explained what happened during the incident while defending his actions as unintentional.
“Yes, I will admit his mouth was open and my hand went inside of there and was on his mouthpiece,” Chandler said. “He bit down, I was trying to pull it out. It wasn’t as though I was trying to pull it out, and he was biting it and I couldn’t get it out. It was more just the angle. I mean you’re getting pushed up against the cage.
“Then when Dan Miragliotta was saying I was hitting him in the back of the head, I’ll have to go back and watch it to be honest with you but I know I was catching his ear, or at least in my mind I was catching his ear. So we had that kind of conversation. You all know I’m not a cheater. I love this game. I don’t cheat.”
Poirier remained convinced Chandler did it on purpose.
“It was definitely intentional,” Poirier said. “That’s just fighting.”
Chandler Wasn’t Happy With Poirier’s Reaction
‘Diamond’ broke Chandler’s nose early in the bout, causing him to bleed out profusely and unable to breathe from his nose. Chandler explained it was something he had to do as opposed to with malice.
“I got a rocket up my nose right now to stop it from bleeding,” Chandler added. “If I wanted to breathe, that blood needed to come out. So it wasn’t a malicious, weird thing, but it was definitely like a, ‘Sorry you’re down there, but I didn’t create gravity.’”
After his third loss under the UFC banner, Chandler voiced his frustrations with how Poirier handled the win.
“I did go over there, I’m a man of my word,” Chandler said. “I said win, lose or draw, I would shake his hand, and be respectful after. Something was said and I didn’t really like it so we’re still friends/enemies/whatever we are.
“It wasn’t as graceful in victory as I would have liked. Don’t have expectations of other people, they’ll always let you down.”