The UFC veteran and former interim lightweight champion admits to letting his instincts get the better of him during that exchange but doesn’t regret what he did in the slightest. He told Ariel Helwani that, although he didn’t plan to bite Chandler, ultimately, he was glad he did.
“I bit the s*** out of his fingers,” Poirier, who submitted Chandler at UFC 281, said during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour. (h/t MMA Fighting). “But I had my mouthguard in, so only my bottom teeth could get him. He didn’t even try to pull it out when I bit. ... In the moment, when I was biting down on his fingers, I kind of stopped biting like, ‘Oh s***, what am I doing?’ Reality hit me. I’m glad I bit him, but it was an instinct. ...”
He continued: “Just be honest. It’s whatever. And I’m sure he didn’t plan on doing it, but in the heat of the moment, you’re fighting for your life, bro. Just like when I bit him. I didn’t plan on biting him. I was like, ‘Oh s***, I’m f****** really biting this guy!’ It’s war, it’s fighting. Things happen in there. But admit it.”
Whatever bad blood Poirier and Chandler had before the fight doesn’t appear to have been squashed in the aftermath as ‘The Diamond’ maintains ‘Iron Mike’ fouled him several times — and each time was intentional.
“I don’t care what the f*** the guy says in interviews, or the guy he’s trying to portray,” Poirier said. “He 100 percent did. He 100 percent did. When I was elbowing him, I was calling him a nasty motherf*****. That’s what I kept telling him. ...
“I can hear him blow his nose. He did it hard. Let me tell you this, if you go back and watch the replay of the blood falling out of his nose, yeah, it was leaking, it might be broken or whatever. But when he got it lined up where he wanted it, those huge globs that came out, they didn’t fall out, he forced them out. And it’s fighting. It’s war. Just like the hat said, it’s war. I’ve done it to guys before. I did it to Joe Duffy in Vegas, when he shattered my nose. I was trying to bleed in his eyes and throw elbows. It’s just fighting. But don’t lie about it.”
Poirier’s win over Chandler saw the Louisianan rebound from his UFC 269 submission loss to recently defeated champ Charles Oliveira and maintain his top-three spot in the UFC lightweight rankings, where he currently sits at #2.