Islam Makhachev: Dustin Poirier, coach don't imagine they will beat me at UFC 302

by Christina S. Brown
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Islam Makhachev considers himself one of the best fighter on this planet and thinks Dustin Poirier would possibly, too.

Forward of UFC 302, Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) theorized opponent Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) would possibly lack confidence with their combat. Makhachev hinted doubt would possibly stem from what he perceives as missing development since Poirier fought Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“Truthfully, he’s the identical,” Makhachev advised MMA Junkie and different reporters at a pre-fight information convention Wednesday. “Possibly he change into extra previous. He doesn’t imagine he can beat me. His coach doesn’t imagine he can beat me. I do know I could make this combat simple.”

Don’t mistake Makhachev’s confidence for disrespect. He praised Poirier all through his solutions and valued what a win over him would imply for his profession.

“I all the time was interested by him as a result of all his life he’s in prime 5,” Makhachev mentioned. “It’s my dream to combat somebody like Dustin who has huge title on this sport. I’m very joyful as a result of he’s going to be on my listing.”

Poirier has revealed an internally-debated retirement in interviews in the course of the lead as much as Saturday’s combat. Makhachev hopes that doesn’t find yourself being the case.

“I hope he doesn’t retire after this combat,” Makhachev mentioned. “I believe he’s one of many largest names on this sport. That’s why I respect him. That’s why I respect him right here as a result of he has numerous loopy fights on this sport. I’m simply joyful to beat somebody who has a giant title like Dustin, as a result of for the legacy, it’s going to be perhaps the largest title in my listing.”

Makhachev, 32, has received 13 fights in a row and doesn’t plan on stopping. Eight of these wins have been finishes. Makhachev plans to notch his 14th win and ninth end Saturday.

“Yeah, I’ll end him as a result of I’m on a unique stage,” Makhachev mentioned. “I’m one of the best fighter on this planet proper now. … Truthfully, my type is the worst type for him. He can beat some striker. He might be top-of-the-line strikers on this sport, however we’re not strikers. We’re MMA fighters. My abilities are on a unique stage.”

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC 302.

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