Islam Makhachev says he has the key for an ‘easy fight’ vs. Dustin Poirier: ‘It’s worst style for this guy’

If things go according to plan, UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev expects to have his way vs. Dustin Poirier.

Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) defends his title against Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) in the UFC 302 main event June 1 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Makhachev’s mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov outgrappled Poirier en route to a third round submission at UFC 242, and Makhachev sees a simple blueprint to follow.

“Dustin, he is a warrior, legend – he has more than everybody experience in this sport,” Makhachev told TMZ. “But his problem is his style. That’s the one problem this guy has. His weak point is wrestling and grappling, and I have the key for the easy fight.

“And if I follow the plan, I can beat him easy. My style and Khabib’s style, it’s worst style for Dustin. People who can can take him down, hold him there, it always gives him problems.”

Poirier wasn’t in Makhachev’s original plans. But after Gaethje was knocked out by Max Holloway at UFC 300, and Arman Tsarukyan turned down a short-notice opportunity after beating Charles Oliveira, Poirier was the only logical option.

“Dustin is a good opponent because Oliveira, Arman, I beat these guys already,” Makhachev said. “My dream fight for this division is Gaethje, but he lose already. Right now in our weight, we just have Dustin because Arman said no, Oliveira lose, Gaethje lose. We don’t have someone.”

Poirier knocked out Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299 to position himself into title contention. He attempted multiple guillotine chokes when Saint Denis wrestled, but wasn’t able to submit him. Poirier has a tendency to jump the guillotine – a submission he almost caught Nurmagomedov with. He joked that he would try against Makhachev, too.

Makhachev played along with the humor.

“Dustin, be ready and wrestle a lot,” Makhachev said. “I defend my neck, I’m ready for your guillotine. It’s not happening in our fight, but I will be ready.”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie