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Islam Makhachev Retains Title with Fifth-Round Submission of Dustin Poirier at UFC 302

Islam Makhachev Retains Title with Fifth-Round Submission of Dustin Poirier at UFC 302

Islam Makhachev retained his UFC lightweight title with a dramatic fifth-round submission victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 302, tying the record for UFC lightweight title defenses with three.

Despite being the sentimental favorite and betting underdog, Poirier delivered a valiant performance but ultimately fell to Makhachev’s D’Arce choke. The victory marks Makhachev’s third successful title defense, equaling the records held by legends such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, BJ Penn, Benson Henderson, and Frankie Edgar.

Poirier, aiming to finally become the undisputed champion in his 40th professional fight, came close but was overpowered by Makhachev’s relentless takedown attempts and striking prowess. Poirier, who previously lost undisputed title fights to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira, expressed uncertainty about his fighting future post-fight.

“I know I can compete with the best of these guys, but if I fight again, what am I fighting for? Just to fight again? I’ve done that 50 times,” Poirier said. “I don’t know. I have a little girl that I love. I honestly think this might be it.”

Though Poirier did not announce his retirement, he left fans with a heartfelt message dedicated to his late grandmother, mother, wife, and daughter.

“If this is my last fight, I wanted to dedicate this journey to the people who made me the man I am,” Poirier said. “To the women in my life. Always chase your dreams, it’s a beautiful thing.”

Makhachev also revealed his ambitions to challenge for the UFC welterweight title, currently held by Leon Edwards, who defends it against Belal Muhammad at UFC 304.

“It’s my dream,” Makhachev said. “I want to fight for the second belt. I want to feel that energy again. When you defend your belt, it doesn’t feel the same. I need a new one!”

In the co-main event, Sean Strickland secured a split decision win over Paulo Costa, keeping himself in title contention. Strickland controlled the fight, and the split-decision was seen as misleading. He called for a title shot next after not receiving an immediate rematch with Dricus du Plessis following his January loss.

Kevin Holland also made headlines by submitting Michal Oleksiejczuk with a first-round armbar, seemingly snapping his opponent’s arm.

UFC 302 Results:

  • Islam Makhachev (c) def. Dustin Poirier via fifth-round submission (D’Arce choke)
  • Sean Strickland def. Paulo Costa via split decision (46-49, 50-45, 49-46)
  • Kevin Holland def. Michal Oleksiejczuk via first-round submission (armbar)
  • Niko Price def. Alex Morono via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Randy Brown def. Elizeu Zaleski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Roman Kopylov def. Cesar Almeida via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
  • Jailton Almeida def. Alexandr Romanov via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Grant Dawson def. Joe Solecki via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Jake Matthews def. Phil Rowe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Bassil Hafez def. Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Ailin Perez def. Joselyne Edwards via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Andre Lima def. Mitch Raposo via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

Stay tuned for all the latest UFC updates and fight highlights.

Credit: CBS Sport

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