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Khabib Nurmagomedov Believes Islam Makhachev Will Repeat History Against Dustin Poirier at UFC 302

Souvik Roy
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“We Rule”: Head of Dagestan Hails Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev for Elevating MMA to National Status

A large chunk of the UFC universe is backing Poirier for an upset at the UFC 302 main event, given that he is a veteran of the sport and this is his last opportunity to win the undisputed title. However, Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t think Dustin Poirier is going to outlast Islam Makhachev, as the champion would repeat history at UFC 302.

The UFC community remembers that ‘The Diamond’ had locked horns against ‘The Eagle’ at UFC 242. Despite putting up some resistance in the first and second rounds of the fight, Poirier found Nurmagomedov’s ground game to be too dominant. He finally tapped out to a rear-naked choke in the third round.

In this recently released video, Nurmagomedov detailed how he has worked with Makhachev to devise a similar strategy that would allow him to finish the fight in the second or third round.

“We have great respect for Dustin, but on June 1st he is our opponent. We have a clearly developed plan for the fight, and I believe Islam will follow it.”

Well, it’s quite apparent that Khabib got the better of Poirier largely because of his ground game, Makhachev also happens to be gifted with better striking abilities. But getting into a fist fight on your feet against Dustin could be detrimental to one’s jaws. So it would bode well for Makhachev to keep the fight on the ground.

Makhachev already packs superb prowess in the same department. But fans questioned his skills when former featherweight king, Alexander Volkanovski defended his submission attempts successfully at UFC 284.

Poirier too will need to do the same if he desires to win his first undisputed title. It is his best shot.

Dustin could learn from Volk, manage Islam’s ground game smartly

Makhachev showcased his skills in the striking department of the game with a superb victory over ‘Volk’ at UFC 294. The strike that knocked down his UFC 280 rival, Charles Oliveira, also bears testimony to his commendable striking skills.

But the Dagestani isn’t a match for Poirier’s prowess in striking. Poirier is too big, too fast and extremely skilled at boxing and only a fool would challenge him at something he likes.

So it’s quite apparent that Makhachev won’t want to engage in a show of hands with Poirier on 1 June. He knows that the results can be devastating. This is why the 32-year-old could decide to take the fight to the ground at every chance.

However, Makhachev probably won’t be left with much except for engaging, if Poirier manages to showcase a Volkanovski-like defense against his attempts. ‘Volk’ may have just floored the current lightweight champ in the fifth round of their UFC 284 fight. But Poirier’s strikes may prove strong enough to shut the lights of Makhachev at UFC 302, thereby ruling out Khabib’s prediction for the encounter.

About the author

Souvik Roy

Souvik Roy

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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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