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The UFC is back with UFC 302 this weekend with Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier as the main event. Ben Rajavuori shares his Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier UFC 302 prediction. Check it out.
ANALYSIS

Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier Prediction: What to Expect in 155 Pound Championship at UFC 302

The UFC is back after a week off and will be going to Newark, New Jersey, for UFC 302: Makhachev vs. Poirier. This is a long-awaited fight, as Islam Makhachev has been looking for his next challenger after beating the featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski when he stepped up to try and become a double champion.

This will be the fourth title fight for Islam Makhachev and the third defense. Makhachev originally got the lightweight belt after beating Charles Oliveira by submission in the second round back in 2022. He then fought Alexander Volkanovski twice, beating him by decision the first time and knocking him out with a head kick in the first three minutes of their fight the second time.

MAKHACHEV VS. Poirier DATE, TIME AND WHERE TO WATCH

  • Date: June 1, 2024
  • Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: PVV

Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier Prediction

Makhachev is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC right now and has finished six of his last seven wins in the UFC. Makhachev has not lost a fight since 2015 and is now on a 13-fight win streak, bringing his overall UFC record to 14-1.

The challenger for this fight is Dustin Poirier. Poirier is the number four ranked lightweight right now in the UFC and got this title fight after stopping Benoit Saint Denis in the second round of their fight back in March. This will be Poirier’s fourth title fight in his career and if he wins, it will be a second time holding the belt.

He originally won the belt against Max Holloway back in 2019 before losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in his next fight. He then got a shot to get the belt back against Charles Oliveira back in 2021, losing by submission in the third round to the fighter who eventually gave the belt to Islam Makhachev.

Both of these fighters are absolute killers. Poirier has finished 23 of his 30 pro MMA wins and Makhachev has finished 16 of his 25 wins. Because both are so dangerous, the total is set fairly low for this fight. On some books, you can get over 2.5 rounds for plus money, but some books are set at 1.5 rounds with hefty juice on the over. Most books are in the -160 to -170 range for over 1.5 rounds, but on DraftKings, over 1.5 is only -140. This is a ton of value and this will be the play I am locking in for the championship fight tomorrow night. Just -140 for 7.5 minutes seems like pretty good value despite how dangerous both men are.

Islam has proven to have an amazing chin inside the UFC and is held up against some tremendous strikers. Dustin Poirier is more than capable of knocking him out, but I do not feel like it will be a quick first-round KO that Poirier surprises him with if he gets it done. On the other hand, Makhachev is one of the best grapplers in the UFC. Although, Poirier has good takedown defense and great grappling of his own as a black belt.

I don’t think Islam will shoot in the first round either, as the first round will probably play out as a feel-out round. Both fighters will look to find their range and Makhachev will look for his entries that he will use later in the fight to get this fight to the ground. Therefore, I think there’s a lot of value for this to go over seven, especially at the price we can get on DraftKings.

Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier Pick

Pick: Makhachev/Poirier Over 1.5 Rounds -140 Click here to see which sportsbook has the best odds

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Article Author

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Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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