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Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier Preview & Picks – Makhachev To Retain Title At UFC 302

30 May 2024
Leigh Copson 30 May 2024
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  • Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier picks for Saturday, June 1
  • UFC 302 is taking place at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
  • Preview, predictions, stats & form
Islam Makhachev (Getty Images)
    Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier Preview & Picks
  • Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier Preview & Picks
  • Islam Makhachev Form
  • Dustin Poirier Form

Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier Preview & Picks

Islam Makhachev is backed to retain the lightweight title by submission.

Makhachev’s route to victory is to negate Dustin Porier’s striking advantage by taking this to the canvas.

He has the skills to do just that and he also has the submission skills to have Poirier tapping out.

  • Islam Makhachev is on a 13-fight win streak
  • 4 of Islam Makhachev’s last 6 wins have come via submission
  • 11 of Islam Makhachev 16 stoppage wins have come by submission
  • 2 of Dustin Poirier’s last 3 defeats have come via submission

Islam Makhachev Form

Islam Makhachev is the reigning UFC lightweight champion with a career record of 25-1 (5 KOs, 11 Subs).

Makhachev debuted in the UFC back in 2015 and has rebounded emphatically from losing his second fight in the Octagon.

The 32-year-old Russian is riding a 13-fight win streak that has propelled him to the very top of the 155lb division.

He fought three times in 2021 and won all three fights via submission, stopping Drew Dober in the third, Thiago Moises in the fourth round and Dan Hooker in the first.

Makhachev followed up that first-round finish of Hooker by stopping Bobby Green in the opening round, although this would be his first stoppage via strikes in over four years.

He went back to his submission skills in his next fight, and it resulted in him become world champion for the first time.

The Russian ace was able to submit Charles Oliveira in the second round of their October 2022 fight, earning him the UFC lightweight crown.

Makhachev successfully defended that title twice in 2023, twice turning back the challenge of then-featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.

He won the first fight via unanimous decision, but did not need the judges in the rematch as he took out Volkanovski with strikes in the second round.

Dustin Poirier Form

Dustin Poirier is a former interim lightweight champion with a professional record of 30-8 (15 KOs, 8 Subs) with 1 No Contest.

Poirier is one of the longest tenured fighters on the UFC roster, having competed for the organization since January 2011.

He went 8-2 in his first 10 fights, and that set up a high-profile showdown with Conor McGregor in September 2014 that ended in a first-round TKO loss.

‘Diamond’ rebounded to win his next four fights but saw his run stutter over a several month period that saw him get knocked out by Michael Johnson before going to a No Contest with Eddie Alvarez.

Poirier got back on track with a third-round submission of Anthony Pettis and a fourth-round TKO victory over Justin Gaethje, and then stopped Eddie Alvarez by TKO in the second round to earn a title shot.

He took his chance, beating Max Holloway via unanimous decision to claim the interim lightweight title, but he failed to turn that into a full title when he was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in the third round.

Poirier rebounded with a points win over Dan Hooker, before recording the two biggest wins of his career as he beat Conor McGregor by TKO in back-to-back fights in 2021.

That earned the 35-year-old American another world title fight, but he again came up short as he was submitted by Charles Oliveira in the third round.

‘Diamond’ bounced back by submitting Michael Chandler in the third round, and then responded to a second-round knockout loss to Justin Gaethje with a second-round knockout of Benoit Saint Denis.


Make no bones about it, Dustin Poirier’s weaknesses play into Islam Makhachev’s strengths.

Makhachev is backed to take Poirier to the mat and submit him to continue his reign over the lightweight division.

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