UFC 302: Islam Makhachev submits Dustin Poirier after wild five round war

Islam Makhachev defended his title again finishing Dustin Poirier in the final moment of the fifth round at UFC 302.
UFC 302
UFC 302 / Luke Hales/GettyImages

Islam Makhachev defeated Dustin Poirier via submission (d'arce choke), Round 5 - 2:42 at UFC 302 on Saturday, June 1, 2024, live from Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

Makhachev landed a combination and then changed levels to score an easy takedown early in the first round. Poirier escaped a kimura attempt but he allowed Makhachev to take his back and lock in a body lock. While Poirier survived the first round, it was all Makhachev.

Poirier was able to escape another takedown attempt to start the second round. From the clinch, Makhachev landed a strong knee. In the standup, Makhachev was landing more frequently and more powerful punches. Poirier started to show more life in the final minute of the round but the round was won by Makhachev who scored a takedown in the dying seconds of the round.

Makhachev landed a pair of knees and scored his third takedown of the fight. Makhachev transitioned to full mount but Poirier was able to escape out the back. Poirier found some success but Makhachev landed a solid combination. Poirier finished the round on a strong note, landing a series of jabs. In his corner, Poirier told his team that he shattered his nose again.

Poirier started the fourth round strongly, landing several jabs and defending well. Makhachev slowed the fight down as he battled for another takedown. Poirier did an excellent job at flipping position and landed a series of body shots. Makhachev's forehead was cut open but was likely due to a clash of heads.

Poirier defended an early takedown attempt. The crowd was firmly behind Poirier as he started to land some good punches. Makhachev was able to takedown Poirier. Initially, Makhachev went for a guillotine choke but then transitioned to a d'arce choke that forced Poirier to tap out. Makhachev and Poirier were very complimentary of each other after the fight. Poirier told Makhachev that he went out right after he tapped out.

"He gave me a very tough fight. He is a champion, a legend... It's my dream. I want to fight for the second belt. I want to feel that energy again. Because when you defend your belt it's not the same. I need a new one" said Makhachev.

Makhachev extended his winning streak to 14 with the submission. The lightweight champion defeated former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in his first two title defenses. With his victory over Poirier, Makhachev tied B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar, Benson Henderson, and Khabib Nurmagomedov for the most successful lightweight title defenses.

UFC fighters reacted to the main event

"I know that I can compete with the best of these guys. At this point, I've done that for 50 times," said Poirier, who had not decided on retirement yet.

Poirier entered UFC 302 knowing it would be his final chance to become an undisputed UFC champion. At UFC 242 Porier was submitted by Nurmagomedov. In his second attempt, Poirier was submitted by Charles Oliveria. Fighters do not get a fourth title fight in the same division without winning a championship. Poirier will likely ponder retirement but still showed that he can compete with the world's top fighters.


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