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The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

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UFC 302: Makhachev is inevitable

Islam Makhachev defeated Dustin Poirier in UFC 302.

The UFC returned to Newark, New Jersey Saturday June 1, as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world headlined against a future UFC hall of famer. Islam Makhachev defended the Lightweight title against Dustin Poirier in the official main event of UFC 302.

The question going into this past weekend was if Poirier could finish his story. In his illustrious career, he’s essentially done everything. He’s fought for world titles, had major paydays with his two fights against Conor McGregor in 2021, and won the interim Lightweight title in 2019. The one thing that always eclipsed him was the undisputed gold that he had strived for. Poirier fought in his third undisputed title fight this past weekend and it seemed to be his last crack at the title. 

His first opportunity came in 2019 as he fought UFC Hall of Famer and Lightweight Champion at the time, Khabib Nurmagomedov. In this fight, he lost via submission in the third round. His next title shot would come in 2021 as he would face Charles Olivera, in which he tapped out again but in the third round this time. Once again, he faced an unfavorable matchup Saturday night against Makhachev, who trained with and is the protégé of Nurmagomedov. However, he carried the momentum from his win against Beniot Saint Denis. UFC fans were amped to see Poirer attempt to finish his story. 


Islam Makhachev defeats Dustin Poirier via submission (Round 5, 2:42)  

Sadly, it wasn’t the fairytale ending that Poirier and most UFC fans had hoped for, but the argument could be made that Poirier gave Makhachev the hardest fight in his title reign. The fight started with Makhachev dominating early, landing a clean combination and using his striking to set up his signature Dagestan wrestling that he is known for. Once on the ground, Makahchev threatened Poirier with submission attempts as he had over four minutes of ground control time in the first round. 

In the second round, Poirier found a little more success, using his jab, and showed better takedown defense and awareness. The judges still gave the round to the champion though, as two of the three judges scored in Makhachev’s favor.  

The third round saw Makhachev get back to his wrestling and top pressure, racking up another two and a half minutes of ground control time. He also stayed relatively even with Poirier in striking. Up to that point, it seemed that Poirier certainly could win, but he was a little behind throughout the fight. 

The fourth round was where Poirier saw the most success.  By mixing in some elbows and using his jab, Poirier found his rhythm as he cut Makhachev open with a lead elbow and arguably won the round.  

Going into the fifth it felt like anyone’s fight even though it had seemed that Makhachev’s game plan was largely succeeding, especially with how weird some of the scorecards from previous rounds were looking. Round five came and Makhachev found the submission after catching Poirier off guard with an ankle pick and using the takedown to find the Darce Choke. Even when losing Poirier, showed how much heart and grit he has. It shows why he’s one of the biggest names in the sport. With a potential retirement looming after this fight, fans showered Poirier with love as it may be the last time he steps into the Octagon. 

The scary part is that Makhachev is just getting started. After this victory, he stated he wants the opportunity to move up in weight and attempt to capture a second title up at 170 pounds. He’d certainly be favored over Welterweight champion Leon Edwards. It’s Islam’s world, we’re just living in it.  


Other Notable Results from UFC 302 

Co-main event – #1 Sean Strickland defeated #7 Paulo Costa via unanimous decision (Middleweight Bout). Potentially earning himself another title shot against the winner of (C) Dricus Du Plessis vs #2 Israel Adesanya  

Kevin Holland is back in the win column as he submitted Michal Oleksiejczuk via submission (Armbar) (Middleweight Bout). Holland has options as he has a plethora of fun fights waiting for him at either 170 or 185 pounds. 

Randy Brown extended his winning streak to three and is now 7-1 in his last eight fights as he defeated Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via unanimous decision (Welterweight Bout).  

The next UFC pay-per-view (UFC 303) will take place June 29, as Conor McGregor returns after a three-year layoff, facing Michael Chandler in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Preston Palm is a fourth-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. 

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Preston Palm, Senior Writer
Preston is a fourth-year communication major from Boone, North Carolina.   Experience with The Trend: Senior Writer: Aug. 2023 - present Contributing Writer: Aug. 2022 - July 2023