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A confession from the UFC supremo Dana White about Conor McGregor and Joe Rogan, a crucial update about Islam Makhachev‘s title defense, and a game plan straight out of the books of Dustin Poirier; the last few hours have been a rollercoaster ride for the MMA world. Welcome to yet another edition of the MMA News Roundup where we give you the top headlines from the last 24 hours.

We will kick things off with Dana White’s candid takes on Joe Rogan and Conor McGregor. Then, we shift our focus to Islam Makhachev’s UFC 302 training update and will finally conclude with information about his opponent and two-time title challenger Dustin Poirier’s knockout strategy for the New Jersey PPV.

Dana White’s most treasured people: Joe Rogan and Conor McGregor

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Dana White recently sat down with Randall Kaplan on his ‘In Search Of Excellence’ podcast. In the almost hour-long conversation, White reflected on many things, but what intrigued the people most was his opinion about two of the most treasured people in his business. While talking about the starting days of the UFC, White explained that Joe Rogan was the best choice he made for the promotion. “Joe Rogan was talking about the UFC, and I saw it. You were talking earlier about gut, you know what I mean? Most people would say, ‘What made you bring the Fear Factor guy in and, and, do all the work?’.I f***ing saw. I saw Joe Rogan speaking about the UFC, and I was like, ‘That’s the f***ing guy I need on the broadcast.’ And, I ended up reaching out to Joe. Joe was one of the greatest decisions I ever made in my entire career,” claimed the UFC CEO.

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Later in the show, Dana White had a similar conversation about Conor McGregor. The UFC Supremo stated that the advent of McGregor in the promotion proved that even a guy living off of welfare cheques can be a world-renowned fighter if he has focus. “You know the story of Conor McGregor being on welfare and all this other stuff. It’s just another thing that goes to show you can take somebody that didn’t go to college and didn’t—Conor is a tremendous businessman. Conor is a tremendous businessman. I mean, Conor is one of the best partners, if not the best partner, we’ve ever had when it comes to being in business with somebody,” said White.

Well, getting such praise from the UFC supremo himself is quite a thing as the Irishman prepares for his return at UFC 303. But before International Fight Week, we have UFC 302, and let’s see what is happening in Newark, New Jersey as fight day fast approaches.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is training Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier are about to clash against each other on June 1 at UFC 302 for the undisputed lightweight gold. The reigning champion, Makhachev will be defending his title for the very first time against a ranked lightweight contender and this has forced the former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to come back to the MMA world. ‘The Eagle’ has landed in US soil to train his protégé against his former opponent.

Nurmagomedov fought Dustin Poirier back in 2019 and defeated him by rear naked choke. So it’s no surprise the undefeated fighter has joined Makhachev’s training since he has the experience from UFC 242 to share with Makhachev. Their head coach, Javier Mendez recently uploaded a video on his Instagram handle where he gave an update about the training. The video showed the entire team of Khabib training in unison.

 

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Mendez captioned it as “Team practice with Coach @khabib_nurmagomedov team loyalty and bonding is at its highest level with these guys Father’s Plan.” Well, we are just eight days away from the clash and we will see if the ‘Eagle’s training has any effect on Makhachev. Meanwhile, things are going on full swing at American Top Team as well. Let’s listen to what Dustin Poirier is plotting ahead of his third (and possibly final) title shot.

Dustin Poirier retracts guillotine plan?

Dustin Poirier aka ‘The Diamond’ has been one of the most technical and powerful fighters in the promotion with a professional record of  30 victories and 8 defeats. He has held the interim lightweight belt but failed to win the undisputed title on two separate occasions. Makhachev in a statement said that he would submit Poirier in the match and defend his belt but seems like ‘Diamond’ has other plans for him.

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The Lafayette, Louisiana native was adamant on jumping a guillotine on the Dagestani and going for a submission finish. However, after listening to some of the comments from Makhachev, Poirier has decided to do what he does best. “I’m going to knock Islam Makhachev unconscious, and the ref is going to pull me off of him,” promised the 35-year-old while speaking to Yahoo Sports.

Even Poirier’s rival Conor McGregor is backing him to get the KO finish. The reason? Makhachev’s sole career loss was via a KO that came from a step-back check hook from a southpaw. And Poirier is a southpaw whose money shot is the check hook, which McGregor first hand experienced at UFC 257.

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So it’s safe to say that the UFC 302 lightweight title fight main event will be a thriller and will have fans on the edge of their seats. Islam Makhachev has yet to face defeat after 2015. He is on a 12-fight win streak, tied for the longest in the division with Khabib and Tony Ferguson. Will he make it 13? Or will Poirier be the second man to snap the Dagestani’s winning run? State your thoughts in the comments below.