Wild exchanges on the feet and several near finishes eventually led to a slick reversal from Poirier after Chandler was attempting to slam him to the ground. As soon as Poirier latched onto Chandler’s back, he started working for a rear-naked choke.
Eventually, Poirier secured his arm under the chin, locked up the hold and a second later Chandler was forced tap out with the end coming at 2:00 into the third and final round.
“I was surprised I got the hook across his body,” Poirier said about the finish. “I’ve seen in the past, he’s very explosive. He was a little bit more durable than I thought he was going to be. I thought if I hurt him, I was going to put him away. Who ain’t got jiu-jitsu?”
An offensive juggernaut, Chandler was on the attack as soon as he was unleashed from the corner as he swarmed Poirier with series of kicks while constantly trying to back him up against the cage. At one point, Chandler had Poirier trapped as he began unloading a barrage of punches with Poirier getting tagged by shots in succession.
Poirier survived and reset as he looked to establish his boxing range while tagging Chandler with some well-timed jabs from the outside. Before long, however, Chandler was charging forward again as he started throwing bombs trying to put Poirier away.
That led to a takedown from Chandler but the move actually allowed Poirier enough time to recover before the fight got back to the feet. That’s when Poirier started landing on Chandler as he cracked the former Bellator champion with a huge right hook that changed the momentum in the feet.
Just before the first round ended, Poirier appeared just seconds away from scoring a knockout as he kept teeing off with punches but Chandler refused to go down until the horn sounded.
With his face just pouring blood, Chandler decided to alter his strategy as he used his wrestling to take Poirier to the ground. Chandler was quick to advance to take the back as he looked to lock on a rear-naked choke but Poirier continued to resist while surviving the submission attempts.
After the fight was over, Poirier revealed that Chandler allegedly committed a foul during that grappling exchange but the referee didn’t catch it in time to prevent it from happening again.
“He stuck his fingers in my mouth to get a rear naked choke,” Poirier said. “I was telling him come on, dude.”
As the third round got started, Chandler was moving slower as his gas tank started to run on fumes but he still managed to explode forward for a takedown as he lifted Poirier into the air before both men came crashing back down again. Unfortunately, Chandler couldn’t control Poirier and that’s when the momentum shifted for the last time.
Poirier quickly jumped on the back, locked on the rear-naked choke and Chandler had no choice but to submit or go to sleep.
Following a disappointing loss in his most recent bid to become undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Poirier returns to the win column with a convince performance over Chandler as he remains a constant threat to anybody near the top of the rankings at 155 pounds.