NEW YORK – Michael Chandler has issued his response to Dustin Poirier’s accusations after UFC 281.
Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) denied malice or intentional foul play on his part during his thrilling war against Poirier (29-7 MMA, 21-6 UFC), which was the Fight of the Night winner.
Poirier, who won the bout by third-round submission, accused Chandler of fish hooking his mouth in an attempt to get him to open up for a rear-naked choke.
Chandler said his fingers did go in Poirier’s mouth, but that it was, by nature of the position they were in, an accident.
“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 about getting hit on the back of the head when Chandler was landing ground-and-pound and that Chandler was purposely blowing out blood from his nose to shoot on him.
Chandler denied malicious intent in both.
“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.
“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.”