Michael Chandler hits back at accusations of being a dirty fighter in Dustin Poirier fight: “You’re just in there trying to survive”

By Josh Evanoff - November 21, 2022

UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler wants to make it clear that he’s not a dirty fighter.

Michael Chandler, UFC, Black History Month

‘Iron’ returned to action at UFC 281 earlier this month in New York City. Standing opposite the former Bellator champion was Dustin Poirier. ‘The Diamond’ was also looking to break back into title contention, having been out of action for nearly a year.

The lightweight clash at Madison Square Garden was one for the ages. Chandler and Poirier traded massive blows, with each man being badly stunned during the contest. In the third round, it was the Louisana native who earned the victory by submission.

While a great win, neither man made it through the bout unscathed. For his part, Poirier has gone after Chandler in the media, alleging that he’s a dirty fighter. It’s hard to argue with him. Especially given that Chandler visibly fish-hooked Poirier during the fight. The Lousiana native also alleged that his foe blew his nose on him during the contest.

In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Michael Chandler did his best to qweell the narrative that he’s a dirty fighter. During the interview, the former Bellator champion noted that he has a good reputation and that the fish hooking was an accident.

Dustin Poirier Michael Chandler UFC 281

(via Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“Blood definitely came out of my nose. Was I trying to put it on him? No,” stated Chandler during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “He just happened to be in a place where blood was going to come out. I was just surviving, trying to breathe. People say, ‘Spit blood’, it was definitely not spitting blood. There’s a difference between spitting blood and trying to breathe out of your nose…”

He continued, “At some point, you’re just in there trying to survive… I meant to reach down and grab his chin. Turns out, my hand went in his mouth. People think we’re in there and making decisions, it’s not the same when you’re inside the confines of mixed-martial-arts and fighting for your life… Do I think I need to apologize? I don’t think I do.”

“Do I think it was something that people can say, “Hey, that was dirty”, yes I can definitely see what you’re saying. But, 31 fights, you know my reputation. I have a good reputation in this sport, I love this sport, I don’t cheat this sport, I don’t cheat to win.”

In addition to clearing his name, Michael Chandler has been calling for a clash with Jorge Masvidal next. ‘Gamebred’ has been out of action since his loss to Colby Covington in March.

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