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UFC 302: Makhachev vs. Poirier (06/01/2024) - Newark, NJ (Prudential Center)


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UFC 302

UFC 302: Makhachev vs. Poirier
June 1, 2024
Newark, NJ (Prudential Center)

UFC Lightweight Championship: Islam Makhachev © (155) vs. Dustin Poirier (155) (third defense) - Makhachev, SUB (d'arce choke), R5 (2:42)
Sean Strickland (185) vs. Paulo Henrique Costa (185) - Strickland, DEC (split)
Kevin Holland (185) vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk (185) - Holland, SUB (armbar), R1 (1:34)
Niko Price (170) vs. Alex Morono (170) - Price, DEC (unanimous)
Randy Brown (170) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (170) - Brown, DEC (unanimous)

ESPN2 / ESPN+ Preliminary Card:
César Almeida (185) vs. Roman Kopylov (185) - Kopylov, DEC (split)
Jailton Almeida (241) vs. Alexandr Romanov (265) - Almeida, SUB (rear naked choke), R1 (2:27)
Grant Dawson (155) vs. Joe Solecki (155) - Dawson, DEC (unanimous)
Philip Rowe (171) vs. Jake Matthews (170) - Matthews, DEC (unanimous)

ESPN+ / Fight Pass Preliminary Card:
Mickey Gall (170) vs. Bassil Hafez (170) - Hafez, DEC (unanimous)
Ailín Pérez (135) vs. Joselyne Edwards (136) - Pérez, DEC (unanimous)
Mitch Raposo (125) vs. André Lima (130)* - Lima, DEC (split)

*Forfeits 30% of purse for missing weight 

Event Bonuses ($50,000)
Performance of the Night: Kevin Holland
Performance of the Night: Islam Makhachev
Fight of the Night: Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier

Attendance: 17,834
Gate: $7.25 million

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I'm not a fan of Islam.  I feel like he didn't fight anyone of consequence on the way to his championship.  Olivera did not look right when he won the championship, and in the second Volk fight on short notice, Volk didn't look right.  I think both of those fights said more about Olives and Volk than Islam.  Yeah, Islam won the first Volk fight, but then again, Volk had moved up in weight and looked to have Islam beat in the 5th if there was a little more time. 

So yeah, Dustin by KO. 

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2 hours ago, Lawful Metal said:

I'm not a fan of Islam.  I feel like he didn't fight anyone of consequence on the way to his championship.  Olivera did not look right when he won the championship, and in the second Volk fight on short notice, Volk didn't look right.  I think both of those fights said more about Olives and Volk than Islam.  Yeah, Islam won the first Volk fight, but then again, Volk had moved up in weight and looked to have Islam beat in the 5th if there was a little more time. 

So yeah, Dustin by KO. 

Okay, yeah this is a bit of revisionist history.

1. Yeah, there is probably a reason why there wasn't a whole bunch of people of "consequence" fighting Makhachev. When he was on the cusp of becoming a legit contender, there wasn't a whole bunch of people lining up to fight Islam. Ironically, it was the same way when Khabib was coming up. He pretty much fought and beat the toughest guys they put in front of him. Keep in mind, this is the lightweight division. It's pretty much the toughest division in MMA. If it ain't 1, then it's 1B at worst. I've seen fighters get title shots in divisions where 90% of the fighters need nametags. The LW division isn't that.

2. That whole argument goes out of the window once you win the championship and have perform that way he has since getting the initial title shot. I don't know what "doesn't look right" means. Does that mean they were drugged before coming into the cage? Cause otherwise that doesn't mean anything. You know what the common denominator is for all those guys "not looking right" is? Islam Makhachev beating them. If Islam continues on this path, that's going to be same story much like any dominant champion. Ain't any excuses at this level anymore.

3. I think Poirier being the sentimental favorites clouds a lot of people's judgment. I love Poirier and he's a fantastic fighter, but there is a reason why he hasn't been the legit LW champion. He always beat the best guys underneath who the actual champion was. He's the Bennie Briscoe of the UFC lightweight division. He had his shots at the belt and lost. He's never been this uncrowned champion. Does he possess the skills to be champion? That's an easy yes. That doesn't necessarily mean you ARE the champion and can beat the actual champion. That's why the lightweight division has always been the toughest. A guy like Poirier who is extremely talented at best becomes interim champion. There wasn't some type of secret formula Islam used to beat Do Bronx that Poirier didn't have. Islam soundly beat Do Bronx, and Poirier couldn't. He had the same shot as Islam. That's been Poirier's story. Would it be a wonderful James J. Braddock Cinderella Man moment if he beats Islam? Yep. However, that's really not that reality Dustin Poirier is up against. He has to do something he hasn't been able to do his whole UFC tenure and that's beat the unequivocal best fighter in the division. Right now, that's Islam Makhachev. It's that simple. If he does that, it's going to be an ATG moment in MMA history. If he doesn't, then that just adds more to Islam's credibility if it somehow needs it (again I don't think there is a credibility issue). Either way, I expect a very exciting fight for however long it lasts.

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45 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

Okay, yeah this is a bit of revisionist history.

1. Yeah, there is probably a reason why there wasn't a whole bunch of people of "consequence" fighting Makhachev. When he was on the cusp of becoming a legit contender, there wasn't a whole bunch of people lining up to fight Islam. Ironically, it was the same way when Khabib was coming up. He pretty much fought and beat the toughest guys they put in front of him. Keep in mind, this is the lightweight division. It's pretty much the toughest division in MMA. If it ain't 1, then it's 1B at worst. I've seen fighters get title shots in divisions where 90% of the fighters need nametags. The LW division isn't that.

2. That whole argument goes out of the window once you win the championship and have perform that way he has since getting the initial title shot. I don't know what "doesn't look right" means. Does that mean they were drugged before coming into the cage? Cause otherwise that doesn't mean anything. You know what the common denominator is for all those guys "not looking right" is? Islam Makhachev beating them. If Islam continues on this path, that's going to be same story much like any dominant champion. Ain't any excuses at this level anymore.

3. I think Poirier being the sentimental favorites clouds a lot of people's judgment. I love Poirier and he's a fantastic fighter, but there is a reason why he hasn't been the legit LW champion. He always beat the best guys underneath who the actual champion was. He's the Bennie Briscoe of the UFC lightweight division. He had his shots at the belt and lost. He's never been this uncrowned champion. Does he possess the skills to be champion? That's an easy yes. That doesn't necessarily mean you ARE the champion and can beat the actual champion. That's why the lightweight division has always been the toughest. A guy like Poirier who is extremely talented at best becomes interim champion. There wasn't some type of secret formula Islam used to beat Do Bronx that Poirier didn't have. Islam soundly beat Do Bronx, and Poirier couldn't. He had the same shot as Islam. That's been Poirier's story. Would it be a wonderful James J. Braddock Cinderella Man moment if he beats Islam? Yep. However, that's really not that reality Dustin Poirier is up against. He has to do something he hasn't been able to do his whole UFC tenure and that's beat the unequivocal best fighter in the division. Right now, that's Islam Makhachev. It's that simple. If he does that, it's going to be an ATG moment in MMA history. If he doesn't, then that just adds more to Islam's credibility if it somehow needs it (again I don't think there is a credibility issue). Either way, I expect a very exciting fight for however long it lasts.

That’s like, your opinion, man.

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1 minute ago, Lawful Metal said:

That’s like, your opinion, man.

How is that any opinion? Makhachev is like a -550 betting favorite....in a title fight. Of course, I am giving Poirier better odds than that. But yeah, there is a reason Makhachev is the prohibitive betting favorite. 

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Man, I forgot all about Bassil Hafez and that Jack Della fight. 

Mickey Gall looking better in the second. He might pull this off.

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Great fight. Gall looked better on the feet than he ever has, and could be even better moving forward after such a long layoff. 

I don't think Hafez knows how to have a dull fight, which is both good and bad for him. I feel like he'll be a welterweight Mike Chandler. 

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I think Gall is one of those examples of guys who got cheated by not staying on the regional circuit. He had one pro fight entering the UFC. I know he had a lengthy amateur career before that and amateur MMA is essentially pro MMA if we're being honest. However, he should have stayed on that level for 2-3 years before coming to the UFC. He should not be a .500 fighter and two of his pro wins come against a pro wrestler and a MMA journalist.

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I don't know if it's been the same judge every time, but there's been some suspect opinions in regards to some of these rounds.

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If Dustin wins tonight it'll be the closest we'll get to Cody Beating The Bloodline but in real life.

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One of the tweets they put up in the corner said Round 1 of Niko/Morono was the best round of the night. Clearly didn't watch Gall/Hafez which is still in the lead for fight of the night.

Niko looked like he was in slow motion and still catching Morono with fucking uppercuts.

Also...

This has been one of the most wrestling heavy cards in a long time. Watch Kevin Holland choose tonight to switch it up and start using some graps.

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Just now, The Natural said:

So I haven't missed anything then? Going into the show, the only fight that I'm into is Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier.

Nothing of real consequence. Jailton Almeida bounced back from his loss to Curtis Blaydes. The Gall/Hafez fight was really fun.

Some of the grappling exchanges have been exciting. Others have been...sleepy.

Crowd is going to go fucking nuts when someone eventually gets knocked out.

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9 minutes ago, jaedmc said:

This has been one of the most wrestling heavy cards in a long time. Watch Kevin Holland choose tonight to switch it up and start using some graps.

Sometimes I surprise myself.

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5 minutes ago, jaedmc said:

Nothing of real consequence. Jailton Almeida bounced back from his loss to Curtis Blaydes. The Gall/Hafez fight was really fun.

Some of the grappling exchanges have been exciting. Others have been...sleepy.

Crowd is going to go fucking nuts when someone eventually gets knocked out.

Thank you.

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Not exactly strong fight IQ from Oleksiejczuk. You can see Holland looking for the armbar LONG before he actually went for it.

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