Monday, December 5, 2022

Michael Chandler: Dustin Poirier Wasn’t Graceful in Victory

[UPDATE: You can read Dustin Poirier‘s side of the story right here.]

It seems Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier failed to quash their beef at UFC 281 tonight.

After a history of back-and-forths on social media and in-person, the duo finally met in the Octagon and delivered a contender for fight of the year. In a wild, back-and-forth first round, Chandler landed huge bombs on Poirier and a couple of massive takedowns, but Poirier survived to respond with brutal strikes and elbows that almost put Chandler out.

In round two, Chandler got the takedown early and kept Poirier on the canvas for the rest of the round, landing savage ground strikes. Then in round three, Poirier reversed a takedown to take Chandler’s back and sink in a rear-naked choke for the win.

Poirier Chandler UFC 281
PHOTO: ZUFFA

Chandler Not Happy With Poirier’s Attitude Post Fight

While the fight was an instant classic, it was marred by several apparent illegal tactics employed by Chandler. During and after the bout, Poirier vocally protested to the referee about what he felt were blows to the back of the head and a fish-hooking by Chandler.

And it seems that the illegal tactics made for a frosty exchange between the duo post fight, despite Chandler’s best efforts to extend an olive branch to Poirier.

“I did go over there to be a man of my word,” Chandler said at the UFC 281 post-fight press conference. “I said win, lose, or draw, I would shake his hand and be respectful after. And something was said; I didn’t really like it; so we’re still friends slash enemies slash whatever-we-are. We’re not really sure what we are.”

Asked whether Dustin had uttered some choice words in his direction, Chandler merely said that he was disappointed in the way the former interim champ handled himself in victory.

“Eh, it wasn’t as graceful in victory as I would’ve been or I would’ve liked. But don’t have expectations of other people; they’ll always just let you down,” said Chandler.

Regarding those potential illegal tactics, “Iron Mike” admitted that while he did have his hand inside Poirier’s mouth, he was powerless to remove it. He also argued that the alleged blows to the back of the head weren’t so from his viewpoint.

“Yes, I will admit his mouth was open and my hand went inside of there and was on his mouthpiece,” said Chandler. “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.

“And then the other thing was Dan Miragliotta was saying I was hitting him in the back of the head. I don’t know — I’d 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 kinda conversation. So you all know I ain’t a cheater. I love this game. I don’t cheat.”

Chandler has now lost three of his last four fights, albeit to the best of the lightweight division. Since making his UFC debut in January last year, the 36-year-old has had his hand raised just twice, having secured knockout victories over Dan Hooker and Tony Ferguson.

What’s your take on Michael Chandler feeling that Dustin Poirier wasn’t graceful in victory?

Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.

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