On Saturday night Dustin Poirier was in a dangerous situation. He had Michael Chandler on his back, his arm around his neck, and with just a bit of wiggle room, near a submission. It was at this moment that Poirier claims Chandler fish hooked him and tried to manipulate his face upward to get his arm under his chin. We saw the fingers on the replay but Chandler insists it’s not what Poirier claims.
“I’ll admit his mouth was open, and my hand went inside there and was on his mouthpiece,” Chandler told reporters at the UFC 281 post-fight press conference. “He bit down, and 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 of the angle. You’re getting pushed up against the cage, I mean, it’s just (difficult).”
Poirier also complained that Chandler purposely bleed on his face after his nose was broken.
“If I wanted to breathe, that blood needed to come out, so I mean it wasn’t a malicious, weird thing,” Chandler said. “But it was definitely a, ‘Hey, man. Sorry you’re down there.’ I didn’t create gravity.”
And even still a third accusation of Chandler striking the back of Poirier’s head.
“When (referee) Dan Miragliotta was saying I was hitting him in the back of the head, I don’t know – I would have to go back and watch it,” Chandler said. “But I know I was catching him in his ear, or at least in my mind I was catching him in his ear. So yeah, we had that conversation. You all know I ain’t a cheater. I love this game. I don’t cheat.”
In the end none of that mattered because Poirier secured the choke in the third round and forced the tap.