UFC 302: Makhachev Submits Poirier to Retain Lightweight Title

“A thrilling five-round war!”

Epic Battle in Newark

Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev successfully defended his title in a thrilling bout against UFC veteran Dustin Poirier at UFC 302. The event took place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, delivering high-stakes drama and top-tier MMA action.

A Match for the Ages

In the main event, Makhachev and Poirier showcased why they are among the elite in the lightweight division. Despite entering as the underdog, Poirier provided stiff competition, particularly excelling in his takedown defense which allowed him to keep the fight standing for significant portions. Poirier’s resilience and striking ability shone through, especially with a notable series of uppercuts in the clinch and a damaging elbow in the third round that opened up Makhachev  .


Ground Game Dominance

However, Makhachev’s grappling superiority ultimately defined the bout. In the first round, he landed a powerful left hand that led to a critical takedown, allowing him to demonstrate his feared ground control. As the fight progressed, Poirier managed to fend off several takedown attempts, but Makhachev’s persistence paid off in the fifth round. At 2:42 into the final round, Makhachev secured a d’arce choke, compelling Poirier to tap out and marking his third successful title defense  .

Poirier’s Future Uncertain

This loss marks Poirier’s third in his last five fights, all of which were title bouts. Reflecting on his performance and career, Poirier hinted at possible retirement, expressing gratitude towards his family and fans for their support throughout his journey.

Main Card Results

  • Lightweight Title Bout: Islam Makhachev defeated Dustin Poirier via submission (d’arce choke) – Round 5, 2:42
  • Middleweight: Sean Strickland defeated Paulo Costa via split decision (46–49, 50–45, 49–46)
  • Middleweight: Kevin Holland defeated Michal Oleksiejczuk via technical submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:34
  • Welterweight: Niko Price defeated Alex Morono via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)
  • Welterweight: Randy Brown defeated Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)

Preliminary and Early Prelims Results

  • Middleweight: Roman Kopylov defeated Cesar Almeida via split decision (29–28, 28–29, 30–27)
  • Heavyweight: Jailton Almeida defeated Alexandr Romanov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:27
  • Lightweight: Grant Dawson defeated Joe Solecki via unanimous decision (29–28, 30–27, 30–27)
  • Welterweight: Jake Matthews defeated Phil Rowe via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 30–27)
  • Welterweight: Bassil Hafez defeated Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 29–28)
  • Women’s Bantamweight: Ailin Perez defeated Joselyne Edwards via unanimous decision (30–27, 29–28, 29–28)
  • Catchweight (130 lbs): Andre Lima defeated Mitch Raposo via split decision (30–27, 28–29, 30–27)

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