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UFC news, rumors: Dustin Poirier plans to leave Islam Makhachev ‘unconscious’ in fight at UFC 302

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Dustin Poirier plans on making UFC 302 an all-time memorable evening. Not only does Poirier look to capture the UFC lightweight title that’s twice eluded him, but he plans on making Islam Makhachev the recipient of a highlight reel knockout.

“I’m going to knock him unconscious and the ref is going to be pulling me off of him,” Poirier told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday.

It’s a bold but not unreasonable prediction for someone who won half their fights via KO. Poirier admits that Makhachev — much like his mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov — doesn’t have “a lot of holes” in his game. That means Poirier must be extremely cautious on June 1 and avoid making careless mistakes.

“Don’t give up position,” Poirier said. “That’s the record on repeat. Don’t go for it even if you think it’s getting tight or you have a good feel for it, don’t give up position. Especially for a guy like Islam. You give up position, you might be trying to get back to your feet for the rest of the round and losing the round, or putting yourself in deeper water and getting into a worse, dangerous position.”

That’s a shame for anyone hoping Poirier hits the mythical guillotine choke he’s repeatedly attempted but never executed in nearly 40 professional fights.

“I have to play it and feel how I feel in there, see how I feel in there, in those positions. But I’ll probably jump it,” Poirier teased.

Makhachev vs. Poirier headlines UFC 302 at the Prudential Center in Newark on June 1.

More UFC news, rumors

  • UFC featherweight champion Ilia Topura expects to fight again before the end of the year. Topuria is targeting a September return against former featherweight and reigning BMF champion Max Holloway in advance of a potential pay-per-view in Spain in early 2025. “I hope to defend the belt with Max Holloway, and then I wanna fight with Conor McGregor, hopefully,” Topuria told Sportskeeda. “If he wins his upcoming fight, that’s the fight I’m looking for. Hopefully, it’s gonna happen. It’s gonna be the biggest fight in MMA history. The biggest ticket [seller], biggest pay-per-view, biggest everything. We’re gonna have like 80,000 people watching the fight in the arena.”

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