Islam Makhachev explained why he needed a fight against Dustin Poirier

From the moment that Dustin Poirier was announced to be facing Islam Makhachev at UFC 302 for the lightweight title, the key discussions began.

Of course, the major talking point is whether “The Diamond” will fare any differently than when he faced Makhachev’s friend and coach, Khabib Nurmagomedov, back in 2019.

As is always the case with an opponent coming up against a grappling-heavy champion, a big part of the narrative is going to be whether the challenger can stop the takedowns and make the most of the striking exchanges.

Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman recently pointed out one fact which could aid Poirier in playing to his strengths on June 2.

Kamaru Usman Points Out Dustin Poirier’s Track Record When Facing Other Southpaw Fighters

On the latest episode of the Pound 4 Pound podcast, Usman spoke about a key detail that some may not even notice until fight night comes around.

When preparing to face an opponent and studying them throughout camp, a big part of that is identifying their patterns which will be somewhat defined by their stance.

Usman drew attention to how both men have the same stance in this fight and that’s something that Poirier has a track record of being successful against.

“Small wrinkle here that most people might overlook is both of these guys are southpaw. Dustin Poirier does very well with southpaws. Dustin Poirier fought Conor McGregor, both southpaws and we saw what he did to Conor. Dustin Poirier just fought Benoît Saint Denis and we saw what he did to him.”

Henry Cejudo responded by stating that whilst this is correct, Makhachev is on another level right now but as Usman stated, competing against the best in the world isn’t anything new to “The Diamond”.

“That’s true but like what you just said, Dustin Poirier has nothing else to prove. You were the interim champion which means you got a gold belt at your house, you’ve done it all, you’ve fought the who’s who in the sport. You can rest, you can walk away and say ‘you know what, I fought everybody. I didn’t duck anybody, I fought everybody and very few of them got the best of me.'”      

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