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Dustin Poirier Shares Islam Makhachev’s Strengths That Even Outshine Those of Khabib Nurmagomedov

Souvik Roy

Dustin Poirier Shares Islam Makhachev's Strengths That Even Outshine Those of Khabib Nurmagomedov

Back in 2017, we all thought Khabib Nurmagomedov was the perfect fighter. The proverbial ‘Yuri Boyka’ of UFC, he had never lost a single fight in his career. He retired rather prematurely and then came Islam Makhachev to replace him, and now we all know Islam is just somehow better. Even Dustin Poirier admits to his superior skills.

Makhachev’s fighting style resembles Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fight game in several ways. But ‘The Diamond’ recently appeared in an interview with ‘Yahoo Sports’ to say that Makhachev trumps the undefeated Dagestani in certain aspects.

Poirier experienced Khabib’s mastery over the grappling department during their UFC 242 fight. Despite putting up some resistance for two rounds, ‘The Diamond’ finally gave up in the third, as he tapped out to a rear naked choke.

And that was Khabib’s game i.e., relentless pressure wrestling, and unlike other wrestlers, once he took you to the ground, it wasn’t just about ground and pound. He would keep you there, twisting whatever he could get his hands on and making you tap out. But Khabib’s striking was never a point of worry for anyone.

This is where Poirier sees the biggest difference between the two Dagestanis. The Louisiana native counted Makhachev as “more of a fluid striker” than his mentor. That shouldn’t be surprising after Islam finished Alexander Volkanovski.

But, ‘The Diamond’ also admitted that the current lightweight champ was better than Khabib in a few areas of the ground game as well.

“[Islam’s] definitely a different fighter, great clinch, good trips. I think he’s a little bit more of a fluid striker than Khabib, for sure. Chases submissions a bit more than Khabib does, especially with armbars and stuff. We never see Khabib giving up position to go for an armbar or something like that. There are some similarities, but he does a few things better than Khabib.”

Several UFC fans and pundits have also given similar opinions about Makhachev’s striking. His UFC 280 and UFC 294 performances bear testimony to his commendable striking skills. But even after all of this, Makhachev might not want to go for a striking showdown against Poirier.

Islam Makhachev shouldn’t stand and strike against Dustin Poirier

Despite his win over Volk, Makhachev should be wary of Dustin’s striking prowess. ‘The Diamond’s’ victories over Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez, Benoit Saint-Denis also bear testimony to his boxing abilities and continued improving as the fight went on. So if  Makhachev goes on to stand and trade shots with The Diamond, it’s going to hurt.

With a grappling expert like Khabib in his camp, Islam is expected to follow his routine to the dot. However, he’ll need to be wary of the guillotine. Sure, he is making fun of it now but it nearly took out Khabib. Besides, Dustin has promised that the referee would have to pull him off Makhachev.

About the author

Souvik Roy

Souvik Roy


The coveted boxing bout between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson in 2002 was the first combat sports event that Souvik ever witnessed. However, he fell for the UFC when he knew about it in 2010. After starting as an occasional viewer back then, Souvik has been watching UFC events almost regularly from late 2017. He began his career as a UFC(MMA) and combat sports journalist in the year 2022 after gathering a lot of valuable knowledge about MMA and a few other combat sports disciplines. He has written more than 1300 articles about various UFC and other combat sports events prior to joining The SportsRush. Apart from being a journalist, Souvik is also an ardent fan of the UFC. Hence, he always looks to have conversations about the same with others. He has a deep affinity for striking part of MMA and other combat sports and Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier is the warrior of his choice in the current UFC roster. Souvik also serves as the Lead Vocalist of a rock band during his time free from publishing reports.

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