Dustin Poirier has been persistent in calling out Michael Chandler for his shady tactics. Poirier complained to the ref during the bout and then doubled down and confronted both Chandler and the ref in the space between getting the submission finish and getting declared the winner of the contest.
Chandler is now attempting to clear his name. In an interview for the Bussin’ With The Boys, Chandler addressed each separate foul.
“All three of those things you brought up are a bit unfair for the armchair quarterback to say… The blood thing, first of all, that’s not dirty or illegal. And second of all, he had me in a triangle, my head was over his face, and my nose was gushing blood.”
“Was I trying to clear my nose, trying to breath, and trying to survive? Yeah. So if blood was gonna get on his face, sorry, my bad. It’s kind of like, ‘Well, hey, if you’re content to lay there and you’re content to try to get this submission… buying time, you’re gonna get rained on.’”
“It was just gushing and all coagulating inside there. And also, I’m trying to breath at the same time.”
Then, Chandler sought to refute allegations that he purposefully used ground-and-pound to strike Poirier to the back of the head.
“The back of the head thing, did one or two of those punches catch his head? Yes, after he turned his head, but I was catching his ear with every single one of them.”
“That’s why the referee was there watching the entire time. He said, ‘Watch the back of the head.’ As soon as he did, I said, ‘I caught the back of his ear.’ After that, was there anymore punches to the back of the head? No.”
“All of them were clean, except for maybe one or two when he turned his head… We’re told if a guy turns his head in order for you to punch him in the back of the head, you get those one or two shots because you didn’t do it intentionally,” Chandler added.
One of the suspected fishhooks on the ground was the subject of the most severe charges.
“The fishhook thing, it was not a fishhook. A fishhook is on the lip and on the skin. It was actually on his mouthpiece, which I actually thought was his chin.”
“I reached down and grabbed there because I was gonna pull the chin up. I was training it a ton that week — reach down, grab the chin, lift the head, and go for it.
“I thought I had his chin, but turns out, I was in his mouth and didn’t realize until he bit down on my hand, and I was like, ‘Oh shoot, okay.’ … People can watch it and watch stuff in slow-mo and go, ‘I can’t believe he did that!’ When you’re on the line or you’re making a tackle, you don’t know where your hands were, where your feet were, what you’re grabbing; you’re in the moment, the motion, literal hand-to-hand combat.”