Dustin Poirier Praises Islam Makhachev’s Skills But Plans To KO Him

Dustin Poirier is under no illusion that he’s facing a very tough fight against lightweight champion Islam Makhachev in the main event of UFC 302 on June 1st, but while he’s wary of the star’s dominant ground game he still believes he has what it takes to knock him out.

“I don’t see a whole lot of holes, honestly,” Poirier said in an interview with Yahoo Sports. “If I’m sitting here watching footage with my coaches, we’re watching and looking at things. He has good standup, obviously his wrestling is good, really good body locks … sweeps, trips, things like that. He seems really strong for the weight class, very dominant on top, seems very heavy. It’s exactly what it is. I’m fighting the No. 1 pound-per-pound guy.”

Nevertheless, Poirier believes he can finish him to become the new championg at 155lbs.

“I’m going to knock him unconscious and the ref is going to be pulling me off of him,” Poirier predicted.

To do that though Poirier acknowledges that he’s going to have to avoid having to tangle with the 13-fight undefeated Makhachev on the mat, and that means trying to curb his habit of going for risky guillotine choke attempts.

“‘Don’t give up position’: That’s the record on repeat,” Poirier said his coach Mike Brown has advised him. “Don’t go for it even if you think it’s good, tight or you have a good feel for it. Don’t give up position, especially with a guy like Islam you know.

“You give up position, you might be trying to get back to your feet for the rest of the round and losing a round or putting yourself in deeper water and getting into a worse, a dangerous position. So we’ll see. I just have to play it and see how I feel in there in those positions.

“But I’ll probably jump it,” Poirier added with a grin.

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