UFC 302: Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier

UFC 302 is set to be Dustin Poirier’s third attempt at securing the elusive UFC lightweight championship as he faces off against the champion, Islam Makhachev. But he is not the only one looking for redemption as former middleweight champion, Sean Strickland will also be returning to the Octagon for the first time after his UFC 297 loss against Dricus Du Plessis.

Let’s take a look and explore all the official information available about this highly anticipated event!

UFC 302: Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier background

The UFC 302 main event was originally scheduled to feature the winner of the UFC 300 clash between Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan taking on Islam Makhachev for the 155 lbs title. However, Tsarukyan, despite winning the fight against ‘Do Bronx’, declined the offer due to the quick turnaround between the two events.

This led to Dustin Poirier finding himself with another opportunity to claim the lightweight belt and settle his score with Team Khabib. As the MMA world gears up in anticipation for the thrilling spectacle, it remains to be seen if the third time will be the charm for ‘The Diamond’!

UFC 302: Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier full card

According to information on the UFC’s official website, the UFC 302 card features 12 total fights, with Poirier vs Makhachev and Sean Strickland vs Paulo Costa serving as the main and co-main events, respectively.

Here’s a list of all the bouts from the card (note: fight order/number is not an accurate representation of the final card and remains subject to change)

  • Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier

  • Sean Strickland vs. Paulo Costa

  • Randy Brown vs. Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos

  • Cesar Almeida vs. Roman Kopylov

  • Hyunsung Park vs. Andre Lima

  • Niko Price vs. Alex Morono

  • Jailton Almeida vs. Alexandr Romanov

  • Kevin Holland vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk

  • Mickey Gall vs. Bassil Hafez

  • Phil Rowe vs. Jake Matthews

  • Grant Dawson vs. Joe Solecki

  • Ailin Perez vs. Joselyne Edwards

Co-main event of UFC 302: Makhachev vs Poirier - Sean Strickland vs. Paulo Costa

Sean Strickland will be returning to the cage at UFC 302 to take on Paulo Costa. ‘Tarzan’ is aiming to bounce back from his split-decision loss to Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297 which also marked the end of his reign as the UFC middleweight champion. According to a statement made to MMA Fighting by his coach, Eric Nicksick, “…we’re a win away from another title fight, so it’s very important not to overlook Paulo Costa.”

Strickland has been vocal about wanting to rematch Du Plessis ever since his defeat as he has stated in a post on X, “The UFC fans want me and Dricus to settle it. Dricus wants to settle it… IF IT WAS ANYONE ELSE ON THE ROSTER THE REMATCH WOULD HAPPEN!” As such, a win over Costa would definitely play a role in Strickland’s campaign to get back the title he held not too long ago, but with Du Plessis currently linked to a title defense against Israel Adesanya, it remains to be seen if Strickland gets the rematch he wants.

via Imago

Paulo Costa will also enter the UFC 302 matchup against Strickland with his last fight against Robert Whittaker ending in loss for the Brazilian. Despite an impressive performance against the former middleweight champion, and even rocking him with a head kick, Costa lost the fight via unanimous decision.

The Brazilian’s last win inside the Octagon came at UFC 278 against Luke Rockhold in 2022, as such, Costa will be aiming to do whatever it takes to get back to his winning ways and make his way to the top of the list of title challengers in the future.

With both fighters known for their social media antics and trash-talking, the build-up to this event promises a fight that will be all action, both inside and outside the Octagon!

Main event of UFC 302: Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier

The main event between Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier marks another chapter in Poirier’s attempt at becoming the undisputed UFC lightweight champion. While the Louisiana native has held the interim title previously, he has been unable to become the undisputed king as he has lost two title shots to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 in 2019 and Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 in 2021.

USA Today via Reuters

Makhachev, Nurmagomedov’s training partner and friend, currently sits atop the 155 lbs division and has remained undefeated in the UFC since his loss to Adriano Martins at UFC 192 in 2015! While there hasn’t been a lot of trash talk between the pair, Makhachev recently made a bold prediction as to how the fight would go. In a statement made to Yahoo Sports, the Dagestani stated, “We will start and I will try to take him down. He will try to get me in a guillotine. I will defend the guillotine. I will give him a couple punches. He will give his back, then I will finish.”

Can Islam Makhachev make his prediction come true at UFC 302? Or will Dustin Poirier finally put to rest the ghost of his lost title opportunities on the night and settle the score with Team Khabib? All questions will be answered once the cage door shuts behind them at the PPV!

UFC 302: Makhachev vs Poirier Fighters’ Record, Stats, Previous Fights

Here’s a look at the stats and other details about some of the notable names competing on the UFC 302 card:

Islam Makhachev

25-1-0

13-fight win streak

5 wins by KO/TKO

11 wins by submission

Previous fight- Headkick and follow-up finish of Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294

 Dustin Poirier

30-8-0, 1 NC

16 wins by KO/TKO

7 wins by submission

Previous fight: KO with punches of Benoit Saint-Denis at UFC 299

 Sean Strickland

28-6-0

11 wins by KO/TKO

4 wins by submission

Previous fight: Split decision loss to Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297

 Paulo Costa

14-3-0

11 wins by KO/TKO

1 win by submission

Previous fight: Unanimous decision loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 298

 Kevin Holland

25-11-0, 1 NC

13 wins by KO/TKO

8 wins by submission

Previous fight: Unanimous decision loss to Michael Page at UFC 299

 Location, Venue, Date, Time of UFC 302: Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier

UFC 302 is set to take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on June 1. The prelims will start at 6 PM ET and the main card begins at 10 PM ET on Saturday.

Past UFC events in Newark, New Jersey

The event is also notable for being the UFC’s tenth foray into Newark and will be the first UFC event held at the location since UFC 288 in 2023. Previous UFC events held in Newark include UFC 78, UFC 111, UFC 128, UFC 159, UFC 169 and UFC 288.

It’s also interesting to note that Newark was previously an annual destination for the UFC from the period of 2011 to 2016. However, due to undisclosed reasons, there was a lack of UFC events at the venue from 2016 to 2019, before finally resuming at UFC 288 last year.

 The commentary team of UFC 302 - Will Joe Rogan be there?

There has been no confirmation about the broadcast team for UFC 302 yet. However, at the recent UFC 301 event in Brazil, the commentary team featured the voices of Jon Anik, Paul Felder, and Daniel Cormier.

As such, Joe Rogan, who has been absent from international broadcasts due to his reluctance to travel, might be joining the commentary team for the Newark PPV.

Where to Watch? UFC 302: Makhachev vs. Poirier Tickets

Fans can tune into ESPN + PPV for the main card while the prelims and early prelims will be aired on ESPN 2 and ESPN+. Ticket prices for the event range from $400 to $3000+ approximately, according to information available on TicketMaster

Weigh-Ins, Pre-Fight, and Post-Fight Press Conference

The post-fight press conference will be held after the conclusion of the PPV. While there is no information available as of now about the exact dates for the weigh-ins or the pre-fight press conference, it is reasonable to assume the events will be scheduled for the fight week leading up to the event as is generally the practice in the UFC. 

UFC 302: ISLAM MAKHACHEV VS. DUSTIN POIRIER NEWS

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