Islam Makhachev Retains Lightweight Title, Subdues Dustin Poirier in UFC 302 Thriller

At UFC 302, Islam Makhachev decided he’d had enough of Dustin Poirier playing tough and put an end to the bedtime story with a submission that had Poirier tapping out quicker than a desperate Morse code message. The grand finale came in the fifth round in Newark, where despite a forehead that looked like it had been through a meat grinder, Makhachev turned Poirier’s dream of a win into a nightmare at 2:42.

Makhachev, sporting a gruesome cut from Poirier’s brief episodes of competence in the third and fourth rounds, decided enough was enough. He transformed from prey to predator faster than you can say “plot twist,” clinching his third title defense and extending his victory conga line to 14 straight wins. It’s getting hard to find new ways to say “Makhachev wins again,” but here we are.

Poirier, on the other hand, looked like he might pull off something special, but instead, he flopped harder than a fish out of water when it mattered most. Post-fight, he hinted at hanging up his gloves, possibly preferring a quieter life where the only thing hitting the mat is his yoga pose.

Elsewhere on the card, Sean Strickland squeaked by Paulo Costa in a split decision that had the transparency of a brick wall, and Kevin Holland dispatched Michal Oleksiejczuk so fast you’d miss it if you blinked. Meanwhile, Niko Price and Randy Brown ticked the boxes for their routine wins, keeping the judges busy with yet another round of unanimous decisions.

UFC 302 Results

  • Niko Price vs. Alex Morono – Price proves that consistency is key, taking all three rounds at 29-28 and making it look easy. Well, as easy as punching someone in the face can look.
  • Randy Brown vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos – Another unanimous decision because why fix what isn’t broken? Brown keeps it tidy with 29-28 across the board.
  • Roman Kopylov vs. Cesar Almeida – Apparently, close counts in more than just horseshoes and hand grenades. Kopylov scrapes by with a split decision that surely had the crowd on the edge of their seats (or not).
  • Jailton Almeida vs. Alexandr Romanov – Almeida demonstrates the art of the rear-naked choke, finishing Romanov at 2:27 of Round 1. Efficient and brutal, like a good coffee.
  • Grant Dawson vs. Joe Solecki – Dawson, deciding unanimous decisions are still in style, shows Solecki how it’s done with a little 29-28, 30-27 action.
  • Jake Matthews vs. Philip Rowe – Matthews joins the unanimous decision club, making sure Rowe remembers all three rounds weren’t in his favor.
  • Bassil Hafez vs. Mickey Gall – Hafez doesn’t play around, handing Gall a unanimous decision defeat with a side of “better luck next time.”
  • Ailin Perez vs. Joselyne Edwards – Perez shows Edwards the ropes, literally, with scores that say, “I got this,” in 30-27 and 29-28.
  • Andre Lima vs. Mitch Raposo – Lima wraps up the night with a split decision that probably had everyone questioning the judges’ vision or at least their math skills.

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