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Dustin Poirier topped Michael Chandler at UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday via submission in a slobber knocker.
Poirier and Chandler went haymaker for haymaker during the fight but the ground game for both competitors was huge. Chandler came away with several takedowns of Poirier and was trying to put a hold on him to get Poirier to tap out. At one point, Poirier was seen telling the official in the cage that Chandler was fish-hooking him.
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Michael Chandler reacts after his submission loss to Dustin Poirier in a lightweight bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12, 2022, in New York City.
(Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
At another point, blood from Chandler’s nose was running down onto Poirier’s face. Sitting behind the On Location Experience seats in the arena, Chandler’s family supported him. Michael Sr. and Betty cheered the fighter on while he tried to get Poirier to either stumble or submit.
In the third round, Poirier turned the tables quickly and was able to put Chandler in a rear-naked choke for the win. Poirier detailed more about his second-round issue with Chandler.
“I told him this is my house. That’s what I told him. ‘This is my house.’ That’s it,” Poirier told reporters, via MMA Fighting. “And I told him he’s a dirty mother—-er, too, for putting his fingers in my mouth and blowing his nose. It’s all good.”
Dustin Poirier punches Michael Chandler in their lightweight bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12, 2022.
(Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
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Chandler denied he did that intentionally.
“Yes, I will admit his mouth was open and my hand went inside of there and was on his mouthpiece,” Chandler said. “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.”
He added he wasn’t trying to hit Poirier in the back of the head even though he was warned about it in the cage, adding he doesn’t cheat.
Michael Chandler kicks Dustin Poirier during their lightweight bout on Nov. 12, 2022, in Madison Square Garden.
(Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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Poirier moved to 21-6 after the lightweight bout and Chandler dropped to 2-3 since he joined UFC from Bellator.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.