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Makhachev vs. Poirier odds, UFC 302 predictions, lines, picks, time: Best bets on the fight card by MMA expert

Dustin Poirier says the only accolade missing from his storied career is an undisputed title, and the veteran lightweight contender intends to fill that void on Saturday when he challenges champion Islam Makhachev in the main event of UFC 302. Their five round showdown will anchor the main UFC 302 fight card starting at 10 p.m. ET from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The No.4-ranked Poirier is a one-time interim champion who has come up short twice in bids for the undisputed title. His third chance comes on Saturday against Makhachev, who has won 13 consecutive UFC fights and has the makings of a dominant long-term champion.

Makhachev is a -625 favorite (risk $625 to win $100), while Poirier comes back at +450 in the latest UFC 302: Makhachev vs. Poirier odds. In the co-main event, former middleweight champion Sean Strickland (-240) meets rugged brawler Paulo Costa (+200). Before locking in your picks for UFC 302: Makhachev vs. Poirier, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Kyle Marley.   

Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event. 

Over the past five years, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up nearly $10,000. In February at UFC Fight Night, Marley advised SportsLine members to back underdog Jack Hermansson (+220) against rising prospect Joe Pyfer (-275) in the middleweight main event. Hermansson won a unanimous decision to give Marley’s followers another easy winner. Anyone who has followed him has seen massive returns. 

Now, with UFC 302 in sight, Marley has studied the card from top to bottom and revealed his top selections. Those picks are only available at SportsLine

UFC 302: Makhachev vs. Poirier preview 

There’s a chance Makhachev (25-1) could leave a legacy that rivals that of his countryman and mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who memorably retired in 2020 at age 32 with a 29-0 record. During his current winning streak, his closest fight came in a narrow decision against former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, who at the time was a dominant champion in his own right. Makhachev won their rematch at UFC 294 last October by first-round knockout. 

Perhaps the glaring difference between Makhachev and Nurmagomedov is that Makhachev can’t finish his career undefeated. He was knocked out in October 2015 in his UFC debut by journeyman Adriano Martins, who then went winless for the next nine years before taking a decision against Donovan Desmae in the Kongs FC promotion in March of this year. 

Because of the debut loss, the UFC pitted Makhachev against meager competition for several years and his rise toward the top, while not going unnoticed, was relatively unspectacular. Even so, the 32-year-old Dagestan native proved he belonged among the sport’s elite when he defeated former champion Charles Oliveira for the vacant title at UFC 280 in October 2020. 

However, the crowd sentiment will likely be on the side of Poirier (30-8-1), whose 13-year UFC tenure is marked by numerous memorable wars. He came out on top of most of them, including a pair of wins over Conor McGregor and Max Holloway and a split of two fights with Justin Gaethje. However, he was submitted in both of his title fights, one by Nurmagomedov and the other by Oliveira. Makhachev has 11 career submissions among his 25 professional victories. See full UFC 302 picks and analysis at SportsLine.

Top UFC 302 predictions 

We’ll reveal one of Marley’s UFC 302 selections here: He is siding with Jailton Almeida (-260) to get past Alexander Romanov (+210) in a pairing of heavyweight prospects on the main card.

Both fighters were once among the fastest-rising prospects in the division, but have struggled against upper-tier competition. Almeida (20-3) is widely considered one of the best grapplers the heavyweight division has ever seen, and the 32-year-old Brazilian rode his dominant ground game to six consecutive UFC victories and a top-10 ranking. But in his last performance against veteran contender Curtis Blaydes, he was unable to get to the fight to the ground and Blaydes landed a TKO while defending a takedown.

Romanov (17-2) is a celebrated wrestler who similarly climbed the rankings behind a five-fight win streak to start his UFC career. But the 33-year-old Russian saw his momentum halted in the form of losses in two of his past three performances.

“Romanov might have the striking edge, but I don’t see this fight taking place on the feet. I see Almeida dominating in top control and likely getting a submission,” Marley told SportsLine. See who else to back at UFC 302 here.

How to make UFC 302 picks 

Marley has strong picks for Makhachev vs. Poirier and every other bout on the UFC 302 card. He’s also backing a fighter who “is the more dangerous striker” to emerge with a huge victory. Those picks, along with Marley’s full analysis, are only available at SportsLine

Who wins UFC 302:  Makhachev vs. Poirier, and how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 302, all from the seasoned expert who’s up nearly $10,000 on MMA picks, and find out.

UFC 302 odds, fight card

See full UFC 302 picks, predictions, best bets here.
Islam Makhachev (-625) vs. Dustin Poirier (+450)
Sean Strickland (-240) vs. Paulo Costa (+200)
Kevin Holland (-260) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (+210)
Jailton Almeida (-260) vs. Alexander Romanov (+210)
Randy Brown (-180) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (+155)
Cesar Almeida (-120) vs. Roman Kopylov (+100)
Grant Dawson (-400) vs. Joe Solecki (+310)
Jake Matthews (-160) vs. Philip Rowe (+135)
Alex Morono (-240) vs. Niko Price (+200)
Bassil Hafez (-330) vs. Mickey Gall (+260)
Ailin Perez (-200) vs. Joselyne Edwards (+170)
Andre Lima (-250) vs. Mitch Raposo (+205) 

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