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Islam Makhachev Retains Title with D’Arce Choke Victory Over Dustin Poirier in UFC 302 Thriller

Islam Makhachev retains his UFC title
Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev successfully defended his lightweight title against a formidable Dustin Poirier in a thrilling main event at UFC 302. The bout showcased Poirier's resilience and improved takedown defense, but Makhachev's relentless pressure ultimately secured him the win.

The fight began with Makhachev taking Poirier down within the first minute. He worked tirelessly from Poirier's back, attempting submissions and landing strikes. Poirier managed to survive the initial onslaught, making it to the second round.

In the following rounds, Poirier showed his striking skills and takedown defense, but Makhachev continued to push forward. Poirier’s efforts earned him moments of success, but Makhachev’s pressure never waned. The third round saw Makhachev draw blood with a knee and secure another takedown. Despite Poirier’s attempts to escape, the champion's attacks were relentless.

As the fourth round progressed, Poirier's right eye began to swell, and he struggled to fend off Makhachev’s constant offense. The fight’s turning point came in the fifth round when Makhachev secured another takedown. Poirier attempted to stand, but Makhachev locked in a D’Arce choke, forcing the tap at 2:42 of the round.

After the fight, Poirier revealed he had briefly lost consciousness from the choke. Makhachev praised Poirier’s preparation and resilience, stating,

“I think Dustin did a great camp, his coaches working very well and he prepared very well. He defended my takedowns and gave me a hard time. He’s a champion and a legend of the sport. Thank you, Dustin.”

Poirier, who had hinted that this title shot might be his last, reflected on the fight, saying,

“He’s the champ. I thought I was starting to chip away at him. He just kept coming back. I know I can compete with the best of these guys. If I do fight again, what am I fighting for? Just to fight. I’ve done that 50 times. I think this could be it, honestly.”

If Poirier’s career is indeed coming to a close, he went out fighting one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, delivering a performance that left a lasting impression.

With this victory, Makhachev extends his win streak to 14 and adds another title defense to his record. Looking ahead, Makhachev expressed his desire to become a two-division champion, stating,

“It’s my dream. I want to fight for the second belt. I want to feel that energy again. I need a new one. This is my dream.”


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