Best UFC 302 Bets: Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier Picks

Best UFC 302 Bets: Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier Picks

The UFC returns to Newark for a major pay-per-view event as lightweight champion Islam Makhachev defends his crown for the third time against the legendary Dustin Poirier at UFC 302.

Makhachev is on a stunning 13-fight win streak and will defend his championship when he fights against long-tim contender Poirier, who has won five of his last seven but lost his only two other shots at undisputed gold.

We'll take a look at the main event of this fight card and provide you with our best free UFC picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash while watching an incredible fight card.

UFC 302BetOnlineBetUSBovada
Islam Makhachev-500-500-550
Dustin Poirier+375+350+400

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UFC 302 information

  • Saturday, June 1st 2024
  • Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
  • Lightweight championship fight (155 pounds)
  • 5 x 5 minute rounds
  • Main card start time 22:00 ET

Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier

This bout is going to be absolutely crazy and there is some big expectations ahead of the title fight.

Makhachev is on a sensational 13-fight win streak, but the names on his list are a little less impressive. He submitted Drew Dober at UFC 259 and then Thiago Moises in his first main event, before a staple win over Dan Hooker at UFC 267 and Bobby Green. 

He then defeated Charles Oliveira to claim the title before securing a controversial decision win over Alexander Volkanovski in Australia at UFC 284 in his first title defense. He followed that up with a stunning knockout over Volkanovski in a short-notice rematch in his last fight.

He has a professional record of 25-1, with 11 submission wins in his career to date.

Poirier is one of the most popular fighters in the UFC and he has proven himself to be one of the best fighters in the world in recent years.

Since his first title shot defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov back at UFC 242 (September 2019), "The Diamond" has gone 5-2 in the UFC at lightweight with some dominant victories on his record.

He claimed a major decision win over Dan Hooker with a solid striking performance, before back-to-back TKO wins over Conor McGregor really become a household name to casual fans. He followed that up with a defeat to champion Charles Oliveira when he was submitted in the third round, halting the momentum that he had.

Up next there was a banger of a fight against Michael Chandler, and Poirier came out on top to ensure that he's still considered one of the best around with a submission win after a back-and-forth war. Then came a head-kick knockout loss to Justin Gaethje for the then-vacant BMF title, but he bounced back with a huge knockout win over Benoit Saint-Denis at UFC 299

Professionally he has a record of 30-8, with 15 of those coming via knockout and eight more coming via submission.

Route to victory

Any fans of the sport know exactly how Makhachev is going to look to approach this fight, and that's because he approaches every fight the same way no matter the opponent.

Makhachev is a very good striker on the feet, but he always wants to close the distance and use his phenomenal grappling skills that set him apart from the rest of the division.

Once on the ground, he has got the unbelievable ability to control his opponents completely and pass through the stages to work for submissions or damage his opponents with ground and pound. That is highly unlikely to change in this fight, considering the way Poirier fights have gone in recent times.

Against Nurmagomedov, who is Makhachev's long-time friend and trainer, Poirier struggled to deal with the grappling and it led to him being choked out.

On the feet the American has the advantage with crisp boxing and great cardio work too, but he has to find a way to keep the fight standing if he wants to win. His lengthy combination work is excellent and he has the power to put people to sleep, while his offensive grappling is pretty good too as a jiu-jitsu black belt.

It's a clash of styles that we have regularly seen go in favor of the wrestler, so Poirier will have to be at his very best to get a result.

Dustin Poirier to beat Islam Makhachev

Check out our review for Bovada sports betting here.

UFC Picks: Islam Makhachev to retain

Poirier is without a doubt in my mind, the best fighter to never win undisputed gold in the UFC, and this is probably his final chance to do so.

At 35 years old this is his third shot at the belt, and if he is to lose again it wouldn't be a surprise to see him hang up his gloves in the center of the octagon. Any fan of the sport will want to see him succeed because his career deserves it.

But he is coming up against an absolute monster in Makhachev, who is arguably a better version of the two people who defeated him in his other title fight losses. Makhachev has better striking than Khabib if it stays on the feet and a dominant ground game too, and is in the prime of his career.

The Dagestani fighter is likely to control Poirier and while he will press for the finish, I think this one goes the distance in a lopsided decision win for the champion to retain his title.

Islam Makhachev to beat Dustin Poirier

Check out our review for BetOnline sports betting here.