Dustin Poirier explains how Islam Makhachev ‘more of a threat’ than Khabib Nurmagomedov

Dustin Poirier sees UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev as more refined than Khabib Nurmagomedov in certain areas.

Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) challenges Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) for the lightweight title in the UFC 302 headliner June 1 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Poirier fell short in his pursuit of an undisputed belt when he was submitted by Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 in September 2019. Now he takes on Nurmagomedov’s protege, Makhachev, whom he thinks is even more dangerous.

“His submission game jiu-jitsu wise is a little bit more versatile than Khabib’s was,” Poirier said on “The MMA Hour.” “Khabib had some chokes that he did really well, but Islam’s put himself in bad positions going for armbars, maybe he loses a position, but he trusts his wrestling to get it back. He’s a little bit more of a threat jiu-jitsu wise in scrambles, and his striking is better than Khabib’s.”

Makhachev said he has the key for an easy fight against Poirier. “The Diamond” thinks Makhachev is undermining him.

“I kind of feel like some of the stuff he says, he might not be (respecting me),” Poirier said. “But I’m going to put my hands on this guy. I’m coming in there to hurt him. This is my last shot – mom’s spaghetti, let’s go. … I haven’t been keeping up a whole lot, but when I was at the gym, Mike Brown told me, ‘Man, I think this guy may be underestimating your jiu-jitsu and underestimating how dangerous you are.’

“I think what he was referring to was an interview of Islam saying, ‘This is an easy fight for me.’ I was tagged in a bunch of stuff on Instagram and Twitter of him saying that. I don’t know, maybe he goes about all fights like that, but I can finish and beat anybody at 155 pounds in the world. I really believe that, and he doesn’t have to believe it. I’m the one who has to believe it, and I’m the one who has to go out there and beat his ass. I can do that.”

For more on the cards, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie