Dustin Poirier reveals the one mistake he cannot make against Islam Makhachev in their title fight at UFC 302

Dustin Poirier has to push the pace if he hopes to leave The Garden State with UFC gold wrapped around his waist.

After coming up short in two previous title bids against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira, Poirier will step into the main event spotlight for one final shot at the 155-pound crown when he meets the former’s protege, Islam Makhachev at UFC 302 on June 1.

Dustin Poirier

Though ‘The Diamond’ has already faced a who’s who of Hall of Fame talent inside the Octagon, his fight against the ‘Dagestani Destroyer’ may be his toughest yet. Speaking with TMZ days away from fight night, Poirier revealed the one mistake he has to avoid against a fighter like Makhachev.

“People who try to slow the fight down and make it a grappling chess match,” Poirier said. “Those have been the hardest fights for me to get going because I do best when it stays a fight. When it doesn’t slow down when it’s a scramble with punches flying and both of us bleeding, that’s where I do the best work, and I’m not trying to hold him down and win rounds.

“I’m trying to knock him out and hurt him and finish him and get out of there. That’s the way I fight” (h/t Bloody Elbow).

Dustin Poirier details his keys to victory at uFC 302

As Poirier broke down the one thing he knows he can’t do, he offered up a laundry list of equally important things he must do if he wants to “finish his story” inside the Prudential Center.

“Be in the moment, be reactive to all of his shots,” Poirier continued. “Don’t get overzealous throwing power shots where I take myself out of position and become an easy target for a trip or a takedown. Don’t play the clinch. There’s a list of things. Don’t play in the clinch with him. He has really good foot sweeps, really strong upper body. Keep it a fight. Use my wheels. Stay moving. Keep him guessing and then tighten him up.”

Dustin Poirier

With a plethora of noteworthy opponents, an interim title to his credit, and a career guaranteed to make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Dustin Poirier has little left to prove, but that doesn’t mean he’s content walking away without checking off one last box on his to-do list in mixed martial arts.

Dustin Poirier


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