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27 may 2024

Khabib Nurmagomedov's Blueprint for Islam Makhachev ahead of UFC 302

Khabib Nurmagomedov's Blueprint for Islam Makhachev ahead of UFC 302

Khabib Nurmagomedov's Blueprint for Islam Makhachev ahead of UFC 302

Khabib Nurmagomedov has mapped out a strategy for Islam Makhachev ahead of his showdown with Dustin Poirier.

In the upcoming UFC 302 main event next Saturday, Makhachev defends his lightweight title against Poirier. This marks Makhachev's third title defense, presenting an opportunity to equal the lightweight record currently held by four different champions. As the fight approaches, Nurmagomedov—Makhachev's friend, coach, and former lightweight champion—believes they hold a distinct advantage based on his own experience against "The Diamond."

"Many underestimate Dustin Poirier," Nurmagomedov stated in a YouTube video capturing Makhachev's training camp. "I've personally faced him, spent three rounds and over 10 minutes with him, understanding his strengths and weaknesses. We're diligently working on these aspects."

Nurmagomedov faced Poirier in 2019 at UFC 242 when Poirier held the interim lightweight championship. Despite some moments of challenge, it resulted in another dominant performance by the legendary lightweight, culminating in a third-round submission victory over Poirier. Khabib is optimistic that Makhachev can build upon his previous encounter with Poirier.

"Dustin is highly experienced; he's been in numerous battles," Nurmagomedov emphasized. "Yes, he's faced defeats, but he boasts over 22 or 23 wins in the UFC. He's a seasoned warrior. We hold him in high regard, but come June 1, he's our opponent. We have a well-defined game plan, and I trust Islam to execute it. I'm hopeful Islam will finish him in the second or third round."

While Khabib didn't delve into specifics regarding their strategy, Makhachev was more forthcoming. Speaking in the same video, the UFC lightweight champion kept it straightforward, suggesting that sticking to what works will be the guiding principle.

"I believe this fight will offer us a chance to review and devise a plan together," Makhachev remarked on Nurmagomedov's bout with Poirier. "When Khabib was preparing for him, we trained side by side, and I was part of the discussion regarding the fight preparation strategy against Dustin. I anticipate that the preparation and fight plan won't vary significantly because we're well aware of Dustin's strengths and weaknesses."