Dustin Poirier vows to knock out Islam Makhachev in grudge fight at UFC 302: ‘The ref is gonna be pulling me off of him’

Dustin Poirier vows to knock out Islam Makhachev at UFC 302 the ref's gonna be pulling me off of him

Former interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier has reacted to a prediction of an “easy” fight from Islam Makhachev ahead of their UFC 302 title clash – claiming he will force the referee to pull him from an unconscious Makhachev next month in New Jersey.

Poirier, a former interim lightweight champion, is slated to headline UFC 302 just next weekend in Newark, attempting to land the undisputed lightweight crown at the third time of trying, following unsuccessful bids against both ex-champions, Charles Oliveira, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

Dustin Poirier
Dustin Poirier

As for Makhachev, the current pound-for-pound number one fighter, has been out of action since he headlined UFC 294 back in October, where he cemented his status as lightweight titleholder with a first round high-kick KO win over Alexander Volkanovski.

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And drawing Poirier next month in what he claims may be his final foray at lightweight ahead of a run at the welterweight crown, Makhachev has vowed to likely finish the Lafayette native with relative ease at UFC 302, in the form of a one-sided rear-naked choke victory.

Dustin Poirier weighs up retirement ahead of UFC 302 this could be my last fight
Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro – USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Poirier vows to KO Islam Makhachev at UFC 302

And responding to the Russian’s prediction, Poirier has issued a stern warning against Makhachev, vowing to knock him unconscious in the pair’s battle at the Prudential Center.

“I’m going to knock him (Islam Makhachev) unconscious,” Dustin Poirier told Yahoo! Sports. “And the ref’s gonna be pulling me off of him.” 

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In his most recent outing, Poirier rallied in the co-main event of UFC 299 back in March, stopping the run of Benoit Saint-Denis with a stunning second round knockout win in Miami, Florida. 

Islam Makhachev sidelined through the summer amid injury from UFC
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

Winning interim spoils back in 2019, Poirier landed a unanimous decision win over recently-minted BMF champion, Max Holloway in the pair’s title fight rematch in Atlanta.

Who wins at UFC 302 next weekend: Islam Makhachev or Dustin Poirier?