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Results from the entire UFC 302 fight card

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Third time wasn’t the charm for Dustin Poirier, who failed to capture the UFC lightweight title against Islam Makhachev at UFC 302.

The Dagestani submitted Poirier via a D’Arce choke following a hard-fought battle in front of a sold-out crowd in the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

Makhachev defended the title against a fighter in the lightweight division for the first time, having fought twice against UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. He held his own against Poirier and then some. Makhachev was able to suffocate his opponent on the floor several times, grabbing his mouth, cranking his neck back, and doing everything to gain an edge in the fight. 

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Poirier managed to fight back in round two, avoiding takedowns and landing crisp shots on the inside and to the face. He looked confident in the center of the octagon. Things changed in round three, as Makhachev contorted Poirier’s body to his will. Smothering Poirier at various points, Makhachev got Poirier’s nose crushed following a head clash. Poirier got him back by forcing Makhachev to bleed between the eyes. A flurry of left hands gave Makhachev, but Poirier never gave up. 

With one round to become immortal, Poirier gave it his all. However, Makhachev twisted his ankle following a failed takedown attempt, took him down, and locked in a D’Arce choke for the win. The win was the 14th straight for Makhachev in the octagon, surpassing coach and former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s streak (13). 

Makhachev later called for a fight at 170 pounds, with Leon Edwards holding the belt. He will face Belal Muhammad next. However, Makhachev has a lot of contenders waiting for him, including Arman Tsarukyan, and the potential winner of Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler. 

Poirier, a warrior to the bitter end, does not know what the future will hold for him. He will consider his future, though it seemed this was his last stand. 

“If I do fight again, what am I fighting for? Just to fight? I’ve done that 50 times… I gotta see. I think this could be it honestly, Joe… I’m not 100%, but if this is my last fight, I want to dedicate this journey to the people who made me the man I am, the women in my life… Always chase your dreams,” Poirier said. 

The co-main event saw Sean Strickland beat Paulo Costa in a rare five-round non-title fight. It was a split decision win, with one judge giving Costa a controversial 49-46 score. Strickland forced Costa to move back for five rounds, testing his cardio. Strickland looked like he could go twelve rounds, while it looked as if Costa could barely go three. 

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The former champion in Strickland called for another title shot. Calling his fight “boring,” Strickland said he towed the company line and now wants a fight he believes he deserves. Costa is now 1-4 in his last five fights. 

Kevin Holland spiced up a card that featured several fights that went the distance by submitting Michal Oleksiejczuk, snapping his arm back with an armbar. Holland ended a two-fight losing streak and is now 3-2 in his last five fights. 

Niko Price stormed back and beat a tired Alex Morono in a rematch from a fight in 2017 where a Price win got overturned. After a slow first round, Price outpaced Morono in rounds two and three to go 2-2 in his last four fights and get his win back. 

Opening the main card, Randy Brown and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos had a solid back-and-forth affair. They traded offense between rounds, with knees, takedowns, and shots to the face. Brown won via a unanimous decision scoring and called out Geoff Neal after, looking to make an impact at welterweight.

Main Card

Prelims

Early Prelims

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