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UFC 302 LIVE: Poirier vs Makhachev fight updates and results as champion retains in final round

Dustin Poirier was denied a fairytale ending to his story in the Octagon on Saturday, as Islam Makhachev submitted the fan favourite to retain the lightweight title at UFC 302.

Poirier, 35, was fighting for the title for the third time, having previously suffered submission losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019 and Charles Oliveira in 2021.

The American previously held the interim belt but failed to unify the gold, and he hinted before and after UFC 302 that he might not fight again.

Poirier did himself justice across four-and-a-half rounds against Makhachev, the UFC’s pound-for-pound No 1, but the Russian out-grappled Poirier for much of the bout and secured a D’Arce choke in the final frame. Poirier tapped out but also seemed to go unconscious immediately after – for a brief moment – as Makhachev recorded a third successful title defence.

In doing so, Makhachev matched the number of defences achieved by Khabib, his coach and childhood friend, who reigned from 2018 until his in-ring retirement in 2020. Re-live UFC 302 updates and see all results below.

UFC 302 LIVE: Poirier vs Makhachev

  • Islam Makhachev retains lightweight title with submission of Dustin Poirier

  • Russian beats American with D’Arce choke in fifth and final round

  • Makhachev, 32, stays pound-for-pound No 1 and records third straight title defence

  • Poirier hints at retirement after going 0-3 in undisputed title fight

  • Poirier, 35, is a former interim champion but lost each undisputed bout by submission

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

07:45 , Alex Pattle

Our UFC 302 report in full:

Islam Makhachev denies Dustin Poirier fairytale ending with submission win at UFC 302

Donald Trump sits ringside at UFC 302 after guilty verdict on felony counts

09:57 , Luke Baker

Donald Trump sat ringside at UFC 302 on Saturday, two days after a Manhattan jury found him guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Trump became the first US president to be criminally convicted on Thursday (30 May), but said he would “continue to fight” the decision. He will have 30 days to do so following his sentencing on 11 July.

In the wake of the verdict, the former president attended UFC 302 in New Jersey, sitting ringside with UFC president Dana White – not for the first time.

Donald Trump sits ringside at UFC 302 after being found guilty on 34 felony counts

UFC 302 LIVE: Results in full

08:00 , Alex Pattle

Islam Makhachev def. Dustin Poirier via fifth-round submission (D’Arce choke, 2:42)

Sean Strickland def. Paulo Costa via split decision (46-49, 50-45, 49-46)

Kevin Holland def. Oleksiejczuk via first-round technical submission (armbar, 1:34)

Niko Price def. Alex Morono via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Randy Brown def. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Prelims

Roman Kopylov def. Cesar Almeida via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Grant Dawson def. Joe Solecki via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Bassil Hafez def. Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Ailin Perez def. Joselyne Edwards via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Andre Lima def. Mitch Raposo via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

Jake Matthews def. Phil Rowe via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

07:30 , Alex Pattle

Makhachev’s striking success will have surprised many fans (Getty Images)
Makhachev’s striking success will have surprised many fans (Getty Images)

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

07:14 , Alex Pattle

Sean Strickland (right) outpointed Paulo Costa in the co-main event of UFC 302 (Getty Images)
Sean Strickland (right) outpointed Paulo Costa in the co-main event of UFC 302 (Getty Images)

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

07:00 , Alex Pattle

Makhachev, the UFC’s pound-for-pound No 1 fight, recorded a third successful title defence (Getty Images)
Makhachev, the UFC’s pound-for-pound No 1 fight, recorded a third successful title defence (Getty Images)

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

06:44 , Alex Pattle

Islam Makhachev (right) celebrates after submitting Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 (Getty Images)
Islam Makhachev (right) celebrates after submitting Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 (Getty Images)

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

06:42 , Alex Pattle

Islam Makhachev (left) used an ankle pick to set up the finish in round five (Getty Images)
Islam Makhachev (left) used an ankle pick to set up the finish in round five (Getty Images)

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

06:18 , Alex Pattle

Makhachev commends Poirier and calls for a shot at the welterweight title next.

Leon Edwards defends the belt against Belal Muhammad in Manchester in August.

Also, lots of respect between Poirier and Makhachev, and Poirier and Khabib.

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

06:17 , Alex Pattle

Poirier: “Yeah, man, he’s the champ. I thought I was chipping away. I stopped most of [his takedowns] in the open, but here he did a low single, an ankle pick and whipped my leg up. And that was that.

“If I do fight again, what am I fighting for? Just to fight? I think this could be it honestly, Joe,” he tells Joe Rogan.

“I’m not 100 per cent [sure], but if this is my last fight, I want to dedicate this to the people who made me the person I am today – the women in my life.”

He pays tribute to his late grandma, his mother, and shouts out his wife and daughter who are ringside.

“We alright, baby,” he says to his daughter. “Always chase your dreams, it’s a beautiful thing.”

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

06:12 , Alex Pattle

Islam Makhachev def. Dustin Poirier via fifth-round submission (D’Arce choke, 2:42)

Poirier actually seemed to pass out briefly there.

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

06:07 , Alex Pattle

Round five

Fifth and final round! Poirier needs a finish. He kicks low. Makhachev dives for a single-leg, but Poirier shakes him off.

Uppercut and knee in close by Makhachev. Elbow by Poirier in the clinch. “Get the f*** off me,” he tells Makhachev, shoving him away. Ha.

Teasing uppercut by Makhachev. Another knee to the body. Poirier stalks forward. Makhachev tries another single-leg and partially gets Poirier down...

He’s going for a guillotine now – Poirier’s least successful but favourite submission! He switches to a D’Arce choke...

And Poirier taps!!! MAKHACHEV RETAINS!

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

06:02 , Alex Pattle

Round four

Lovely right hook to the body by Makhachev. Poirier with one of his own. He stuffs a takedown attempt.

Both men land jabs at the same time. Again Poirier denies Makhachev a takedown. But Makhachev lands a good left hand and drives the challenger to the fence.

Poirier seemed to tell his corner just now that he’s hurt his leg. He’s trying to fend Makhachev off his back now, but he’s still standing.

Really nice switch exit by Poirier. He ends up standing in front of Makhachev, whose back is to the fence, and landing body shots on the Russian.

Poirier with an elbow to the head now, and Makhachev’s forehead is leaking blood! He fires back with a double-jab and cross, and Poirier retaliates with a beautiful combination to the head and body.

Poirier is defending another takedown, talking to UFC president Dana White through the fence.

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

05:58 , Alex Pattle

Round three

Slick counter jab by Poirier. Solid knee up the middle by Makhachev, then an uppercut, and another knee in the clinch.

Makhachev gets a body lock and drives Poirier to the fence, where he trips the American. Makhachev takes the back, has a body triangle, and tries to stretch Poirier.

Poirier fights the hands. Makhachev, again, will look for a rear naked choke or maybe an armbar.

Makhachev moves into mount, but Poirier slips out from under the Russian – really nicely! The pair are back standing, and Poirier is walking down the champion.

Lots of blood coming from Poirier’s nose. Good right hook by Makhachev, then a left cross. His striking is so underrated.

Poirier’s face is swelling badly around his right eye, and he’s pawing at his left, which seems to be cut somewhere. Decent right hook by Poirier to end the round.

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

05:49 , Alex Pattle

Round two

Poirier kicks low, and immediately Makhachev shoots for a single-leg takedown. Poirier manages to wriggle free, and the crowd loves that!

“U-S-A” is the chant in New Jersey. Poirier backs up Makhachev and lands a decent elbow in the clinch. Makhachev with a hard knee. The lightweights separate.

Again Makhachev tries a single-leg, and again Poirier scrambles and escapes. Good cross by Makhachev. Nice jab now.

More straight punches from Makhachev – jabs and crosses. He wings a right hook then drives for a single-leg, getting Poirier to the fence. But Poirier reverses the position! Very impressive.

Both men land uppercuts in a clinch. Makhachev with a knee to the body. The striking starts to take place at longer range, and Makhachev lands an uppercut after getting his head off the centre line.

Makhachev is the more accurate boxer so far, which is not what Poirier fans will have expected. And the Russian gets a takedown at the end of the round.

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

05:43 , Alex Pattle

Round one

Both men stand southpaw. They’re the first fighters ever to wear gold UFC gloves.

Makhachev holds the centre of the ring. Good right hand from Poirier, but Makhachev fires back with a one-two.

He grabs ahold of Poirier and dumps him to the canvas already! Right by the fence. Makhachev is in half-guard, firing off short punches.

The crowd boos. Makhachev is working on an arm-triangle choke... He could pivot to the Americana. He goes for a Kimura instead!

Poirier rolls out of it well, but Makhachev quickly takes his back. He’s going to want the rear naked choke, but Poirier is firing off shots – punching over his own head – to deter the Russian.

That right hand from Poirier, earlier in the round, cut Makhachev around the champion’s left eye.

Makhachev is trying to isolate Poirier’s right arm. He may look for an armbar instead of the rear naked choke.

The crowd is willing on Poirier, who has defended well but is not getting out of this body triangle. Round one in the books.

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

05:36 , Alex Pattle

Poirier is out first, to a mash-up walkout song. First up is a cover of “Diamonds” by Rihanna, then his usual song: “The Boss” by James Brown. The challenger is wearing special floral shorts for this one.

Now here comes Makhachev, the defending champion and pound-for-pound No 1.

Great reception for Poirier. Boos for Makhachev.

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

05:33 , Alex Pattle

Somehow, an occasion as momentous and emotional as Dustin Poirier’s final shot at undisputed UFC gold has come to be defined by a joke of sorts, about whether the “Diamond” can pull off a specific choke. So, how did we get here?

In Poirier’s long and storied MMA career, the fan favourite has earned six wins over four undisputed UFC champions. Yet none of those fighters held a UFC title when Poirier beat them, except Max Holloway in his second fight with the American; even then, Holloway was vying for the interim lightweight belt against Poirier, rather than defending his featherweight strap.

That is to say: For all of Poirier’s achievements, he has never won an undisputed UFC title. The “Diamond” claimed the interim 155lbs belt against Holloway in that 2019 rematch, adding to his past win over the Hawaiian, victories over Anthony Pettis and Eddie Alvarez, and future wins over Conor McGregor. But the ‘official’ lightweight title has eluded Poirier.

Furthermore, the 35-year-old has beaten those champions by all imaginable means – decision, knockout, submission – but he has always failed at the technique he enjoys most: the guillotine.

Full main-event breakdown:

How a ‘joke’ came to define one of the biggest UFC fights of the year

UFC 302 LIVE: Dustin Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

05:27 , Alex Pattle

Time for the main event... Islam Makhachev defends his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier, as the “Diamond” gets one last shot at undisputed gold.

Poirier, a veteran and fan favourite, previously held the interim belt but has twice failed to win the official lightweight title. In 2019, the American was submitted by then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, and in 2021, Poirier lost a title fight against Charles Oliveira – again losing via submission.

As such, Poirier has admitted that he could retire after UFC 302, regardless of his result against Makhachev, who is a mentee and childhood friend of Khabib. In fact, Nurmagomedov will be in Makhachev’s corner in New Jersey, as the champion seeks a third successful title defence.

Makhachev, the UFC’s pound-for-pound No 1, won the title by submitting Oliveira in 2022, and the Russian retained the belt twice in 2022 – beating Alexander Volkanovski both times. Volkanovski, who was featherweight champion at the time, lost to Makhachev on points then by knockout.

The main event is moments away...

Islam Makhachev (left) facing off with Dustin Poirier on Friday (Getty Images)
Islam Makhachev (left) facing off with Dustin Poirier on Friday (Getty Images)

06:14 , Alex Pattle

Makhachev: “I think Dustin did a great camp, his coaches were working very well, and he performed very good.

“He defended my takedowns. He’s a champion, legend of this sport.”

Lots of respect between Poirier and Makhachev, too – and between Poirier and Khabib, his old foe, who was in Makhachev’s corner.

“This is my dream,” says Makhachev, calling for a shot at the welterweight title next.

UFC 302 LIVE: Sean Strickland vs Paulo Costa

05:15 , Alex Pattle

Round five

Costa is doing better right now, throwing more low kicks again and committing to close range to land punches.

More leg kicks and body jabs from Costa, who then throws a body kick. Strickland with a teep to the body.

Costa just about lands two left hooks upstairs, but he eats a jab for his trouble.

Strickland lets his right hand go now, and he drops Costa with a head kick! Costa stands and is wobbled by another, before Strickland jumps forward with a sort of flying front kick!

To the scorecards we go...

Sean Strickland def. Paulo Costa via split decision (46-49, 50-45, 49-46)

That 49-46 scorecard to Costa is very generous.

UFC 302 LIVE: Sean Strickland vs Paulo Costa

05:10 , Alex Pattle

Round four

Costa is struggling to get past Strickland’s jab. Strickland keeps stalking Costa.

The former champ throws a couple more teep kicks to the body. Costa misses with a left hook and eats a cross.

Good side kick from Costa, but again he can’t close range because of Strickland’s jabs.

Oh! Good left hook to the body by Costa, though.

UFC 302 LIVE: Sean Strickland vs Paulo Costa

05:02 , Alex Pattle

Round three

Strickland has Costa scrambling to get some space – just for a moment.

Costa kicks to the body, but Strickland partially catches it. Strickland checks a low kick, and Costa seems to have been hurt by that...

Strickland is frustrating Costa with his jab now. Costa just misses with a left hook. Decent one-two now, though.

Costa is trying to deter Strickland with feints, but the American isn’t really biting.

UFC 302 LIVE: Sean Strickland vs Paulo Costa

04:56 , Alex Pattle

Round two

Both men kick low. Hard outside leg kick from Costa, then a cross to the body. Again he kicks low.

Strickland’s lead leg is red, but so is Costa’s mid-section! More front kicks by Strickland, aimed at that red patch on Costa’s front.

Strickland is maintaining his pressure, keeping Costa backpedaling. Eventually Costa tries to get a body lock, but Strickland shrugs him off.

Snapping jab by Strickland, jolting back the head of Costa, who simultaneously lands a leg kick. Another well-timed shot from Strickland sends Costa tumbling into the fence. Again, though, it’s not a hard knockdown – just a timely jab.

UFC 302 LIVE: Sean Strickland vs Paulo Costa

04:46 , Alex Pattle

Round one

Two low kicks from Costa early on. He looks massive in there. Strickland presses forward gently.

More low kicks from Costa. Strickland flicks out a few front kicks to the body. And again.

Neither man is rushing; they have five rounds, if they need them.

Strickland continues to press forward. Costa kicks low yet again. Nice jab by Costa. He kicks to the body, then jabs.

More front kicks from Strickland, who can’t get into boxing range. Until now! He drops Costa to his backside with a well-timed punch, though it’s not a heavy knockdown.

Costa will get worn out soon from all this backwards movement and these body kicks.

UFC 302 LIVE: Sean Strickland vs Paulo Costa

04:37 , Alex Pattle

Time for the co-main event!

Can Sean Strickland bounce back from his title loss to Dricus Du Plessis in January? It was a narrow decision defeat for the American, who now faces former title challenger Paulo Costa.

Costa is coming off a slim points loss to ex-champion Robert Whittaker, who bounced back from his own (surprise) loss to Du Plessis by overcoming Costa in February.

This one is scheduled for five rounds, which most fans and pundits believe favours Strickland, who thus far has shown a superior gas taken to his Brazilian foe.

Sean Strickland (left) and Paulo Costa at Friday’s UFC 302 weigh-in (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Sean Strickland (left) and Paulo Costa at Friday’s UFC 302 weigh-in (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC 302 LIVE: Kevin Holland vs Michal Oleksiejczuk

04:25 , Alex Pattle

Three fights left. First up: Kevin Holland vs Michal Oleksiejczuk at middleweight.

Round one

Southpaw Oleksiejczuk sends Holland staggering with a clean left hand in the early moments. Now he catches a side kick.

Holland is just out of range of an overhand, but the next gets him! Holland crashes to the mat, but Oleksiejczuk rushes into his guard, and Holland goes for an armbar!

Oleksiejczuk is in it for ages, and it’s WRENCHED on! He doesn’t tap, but the referee steps in, after Oleksiejczuk’s arm seemingly BREAKS?!

It did look like it snapped. Wow. Oleksiejczuk complains to the ref, but at the very least his arm is dislocated; it’s limp. Holland was talking to Oleksiejczuk during the armbar, as if he was trying to convince Oleksiejczuk to tap.

Kevin Holland def. Oleksiejczuk via first-round technical submission (armbar, 1:34)

UFC 302 LIVE: Niko Price vs Alex Morono 2

04:08 , Alex Pattle

Round three

A left hook lands for Morono, but there’s nothing on it. He looks exhausted. Can Price capitalise?

He catches Morono on the end of an uppercut. OH! And again, cleaner this time. He takes down Morono with ease.

Price runs rings around Morono on the mat, then both fighters stand. Price times a knee wonderfully as they do.

Decent elbow from Price now, and a left elbow. Some wild striking on display from Morono.

Niko Price def. Alex Morono via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC 302 LIVE: Niko Price vs Alex Morono 2

03:47 , Alex Pattle

Next up, a rematch between welterweights Niko Price and Alex Morono! The pair fought in 2017, with their draw overturned to a No Contest.

Round one

Both men stand orthodox. Price takes the centre of the ring. Morono stays mobile and just misses with a cross.

Price trips him and rushes into his guard. Morono is working on an Omoplata, having trapped one arm...

Price scrambles and eventually gets free, and they stand. Price staggers Morono with an uppercut by the fence!

A fun striking exchange ensues, with Morono attempting a spinning back kick and spinning back elbow (neither lands).

Round two

Morono lands a clean overhand, but there’s not a ton on it. Price comes forward with a few body hooks.

Morono continues to land. Again, there’s not much power, but the accuracy is there.

Morono wings a few shots, missing all of them (so much for the accuracy), and he jumps a guillotine in defence against a takedown.

As the grappling exchange continues, the guillotine slips, and Morono also struggles to finish an armbar. The welterweights eventually stand against the fence.

UFC 302 LIVE: Randy Brown vs Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

03:36 , Alex Pattle

Round three

Low kicks from both men early in this final round. Now Dos Santos complains of another eye poke, and we have a brief pause again.

So, the new gloves aren’t solving the issue they’re supposed to solve!

OH! Another well-timed knee by Brown! It seems to have cut Dos Santos badly around his left eye.

Dos Santos shoots for a takedown to buy time to recover, but he’ll have to settle for holding Brown on the fence.

Sometime later, Dos Santos secures a trip and takes the back – with time running out! He goes for a rear naked choke, but Brown defends until the buzzer.

Randy Brown def. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC to debut new gloves designed to minimise eye pokes

UFC 302 LIVE: Randy Brown vs Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

03:30 , Alex Pattle

Round two

Wow! Both fighters land hard right hands! Dos Santos’s seems to do the greater damage, and he chases a retreating Brown before securing a takedown!

Dos Santos takes the back, but he doesn’t have a great hold; he’s positioned too high on Brown’s back. Brown is able to stand against the fence, but he’s tripped.

Dos Santos takes the back again and works on a rear naked choke. He can’t get it past the jaw of Brown, who stays calm and defends well.

Eventually Brown escapes, and he takes Dos Santos’s back! He tries his own rear naked choke, but Dos Santos makes it to the buzzer!

UFC 302 LIVE: Randy Brown vs Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

03:23 , Alex Pattle

The main card is upon us! It begins with a welterweight bout between Randy Brown and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos.

Round one

Both men stand southpaw. Brown hops forward and throws out a one-two, which is off-target.

He kicks low now, and Dos Santos responds in kind. Brown feints with jabs; Dos Santos fakes a front kick.

Brown, the taller man, checks a leg kick. He blocks a head kick now. There’s a brief pause in the action after Dos Santos complains of an eye poke.

But the referee forces Dos Santos to resume fighting! What is he doing? You’re supposed to give the athlete time to recover!

We’re back under way, and Brown is outstriking Dos Santos, who still looks to be in discomfort and fails with a takedown.

OH! Brown times a jumping knee beautifully, jolting back Dos Santos’s head in the final seconds of the round!

UFC 302 LIVE: Donald Trump sits ringside after guilty verdict on felony counts

03:07 , Alex Pattle

Donald Trump sits ringside at UFC 302 after being found guilty on 34 felony counts

UFC 302 LIVE: Cesar Almeida vs Roman Kopylov

02:52 , Alex Pattle

Round three

Almeida’s team tell him that Kopylov is exhausted. Kopylov’s team tell him to slow down but also keep working...

Almeida backs up Kopylov with striking activity, and he steps back to evade a half-hearted takedown attempt.

Both men land straight punches, and Kopylov telegraphs a takedown – but gets it anyway!

Kopylov risks being stood up by referee Herb Dean, simply holding Almeida. But eventually the Russian begins to throw strikes from on top. Almeida throws his on from the bottom, but eventually Dean relents and stands them up – amid chants of, “Stand them up!” from the crowd.

Within seconds, though, Kopylov gets another double-leg... We’ll go to the scorecards.

Roman Kopylov def. Cesar Almeida via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

UFC 302 LIVE: Cesar Almeida vs Roman Kopylov

02:45 , Alex Pattle

Round two

Almeida is cut around his right eye. He’s blinking it a lot.

Kopylov times a switch right hand really nicely. Almeida with a solid cross. Kopylov shoots for a takedown, but Almeida shrugs it off then lands a hardddd body hook.

Kopylov’s retaliatory one-two is just out of range, so he opts to wrestle again. He forces Almeida back to the fence and tries a single-leg.

Good defence by Almeida, and he’s able to get into space. The Brazilian kicks to the body, and Kopylov briefly looks tired.

But the Russian explodes into a double-leg takedown. He moves into side control by the fence.

UFC 302 LIVE: Cesar Almeida vs Roman Kopylov

02:27 , Alex Pattle

The final prelim bout of the night is up next: Cesar Almeida vs Roman Kopylov at middleweight.

Round one

Both men stand southpaw. Lots of kicks from Almeida early on – low and high. Kopylov with a decent cross.

More kicks from Almeida, who then skips forward with a double-jab and a straight. More kicks from him, most of them low now.

Kopylov tries a single-leg takedown, but Almeida is able to scoot away after sitting to the mat. Almeida stands and is soon met with a big cross from Kopylov!

Kopylov with a lovely drive takedown. Almeida does well to create space by the fence and stand, but he’s tagged with two right hooks as he does so.

OH! Kopylov lands the cross again and floors Almeida! Kopylov with a slew of hammer fists, but Almeida starts to defend, and Kopylov backs off to let him stand.

Kopylov soon scores with a double-leg takedown, and he’s straight into side control.

UFC 302 LIVE: Jailton Almeida vs Alexandr Romanov

02:15 , Alex Pattle

Heavyweight action now! Jailton Almeida faces Alexandr Romanov.

Round one

Almeida shoots for a single-leg takedown immediately. He switches to a body lock and completes the takedown.

He’s lying on top of Romanov by the fence, wearing down on his opponent. He bides his time before seizing his opportunity to take the back!

Almeida works on a rear naked choke, but Romanov fights the hands and is able to get upright on his knees.

Almeida attacks the submission again, and this time he locks it in clean! Romanov taps! It’s all over in round one!

Jailton Almeida def. Alexandr Romanov via first-round submission (rear naked choke, 2:27)

UFC 302 LIVE: Grant Dawson vs Joe Solecki

02:02 , Alex Pattle

Round three

Third and final round! Dawson complains of a low blow immediately, but the action quickly resumes. It came from both guys throwing kicks at the same time.

Once again Solecki defends a takedown attempt with a guillotine, but once again Dawson escapes!

The pattern of the fight continues, therefore: Dawson on top of Solecki by the cage wall.

Dawson is able to intermittently create space and rain down punches. Solecki reduces the distance again, and Dawson ends the round with more elbows.

Grant Dawson def. Joe Solecki via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

UFC 302 LIVE: Grant Dawson vs Joe Solecki

01:50 , Alex Pattle

Round one

Dawson runs at Solecki and throws a flying knee immediately! It doesn’t quite land, and he tries a guillotine as the grappling begins...

He lets go and tries a takedown instead, and now it’s Solecki attempting a guillotine against the cage.

The sequence carries the lightweights away from the cage, but Solecki is still attacking the choke... and Dawson eventually pops his head out!

Solecki is doing well to restrict Dawson’s movement on top. The pair shuffle back to the cage.

Eventually Dawson gets off some good elbows, and BOTH men are covered in blood! It actually appears to be Dawson’s, though; it was hard to see what caused the cut...

Round two

Dawson gets a takedown early in this round.

Solecki again does a decent job at restricting his opponent’s offence from on top, but once more Dawson starts to slice through with elbows.

Now the lightweights are even bloodier! Solecki is backed up against the cage, on the canvas, trying to get over- and underhooks.

UFC 302 LIVE: Prelim updates incoming

01:04 , Alex Pattle

The early prelims are all wrapped up!

Bassil Hafez def. Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Ailin Perez def. Joselyne Edwards via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Andre Lima def. Mitch Raposo via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

Jake Matthews def. Phil Rowe via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Okay! Our round-by-round updates are finally here: First up, Grant Dawson vs Joe Solecki at lightweight.

UFC 302 LIVE: Makhachev tops pound-for-pound rankings

Sunday 2 June 2024 00:15 , Alex Pattle

Islam Makhachev is the UFC’s pound-for-pound No 1 fighter – and he’s ours, too.

Find out why:

The Independent’s pound-for-pound UFC rankings

UFC 302: Khabib returns to coach Makhachev against familiar foe Poirier

Saturday 1 June 2024 23:45 , Alex Pattle

Khabib Nurmagomedov will be in Makhachev’s corner this evening, coaching his childhood friend against Poirier.

Makhachev is seeking a third successful lightweight title defence, which would see the Russian match his childhood friend Khabib, who retained the belt three times before retiring undefeated and as champion in 2020.

After hanging up the gloves, Khabib spent a spell as a coach and guided Makhachev to the lightweight title in 2022. The 35-year-old later decided to stop training fighters, but he will return to Makhachev’s corner on Saturday.

“This means a lot,” Makhachev said. “This is like [adding] to striking 20 per cent, to wrestling 20 per cent, to the plan. It’s always great to have Khabib in the corner, because I think he gives me good advice in a lot of fights.”

More from Makhachev here:

Khabib Nurmagomedov returns at UFC 302 to coach Makhachev against Poirier

UFC 302 LIVE: Makhachev takes issue with Poirier insult at face-off

Saturday 1 June 2024 23:30 , Alex Pattle

“I don’t understand you,” Poirier told Makhachev on Thursday, after failing to hear what the Russian said at the start of their face-off. “I’m gonna knock you out Saturday. I’m gonna sleep-slap you.

“You’re gonna be diving for my legs, praying. You’re gonna be laying and praying, that’s what you’re gonna be doing. You’re going to sleep, motherf****r.”

Makhachev took issue with Poirier’s final insult, saying: “Don’t say ‘motherf****r’.” When Poirier repeated the word, Makhachev reiterated: “Don’t say ‘motherf****r’.”

As Makhachev was held back by security, Poirier said: “I have respect for you, brother. We’re gonna fight.”

More here:

‘Don’t say that’: Islam Makhachev takes issue with Dustin Poirier insult at face-off

UFC 302 LIVE: Poirier teases retirement after Makhachev fight – win or lose

Saturday 1 June 2024 23:22 , Alex Pattle

Whether he wins or loses tonight, this could be Dustin Poirier’s last dance.

“I’m not going to climb the ladder again,” he told CBS last week. “I’ve been doing this a long time.

“It’s a very selfish sport. I’m ready to be a father and be a husband and be home and be into a routine. I wouldn’t say I can’t do it again; I can do it again, it’s just...

“This is it for me. This could be the last one. I’m still on the fence, win or lose. I just want to be content with my career. It’s a thing where I have to digest it and be okay with it [if I lose], because that’s how life goes.

“Of course, I’m looking at the brighter side and trying to be positive that I’m going to finish the story and seal the deal and become undisputed lightweight champ after my 31st fight in the UFC. What a story that would be.”

More here:

Dustin Poirier teases retirement ahead of UFC 302 title fight

UFC 302 LIVE: Poirier vs Makhachev

Saturday 1 June 2024 22:00 , Alex Pattle

Islam Makhachev will defend his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 302 tonight, as the “Diamond” gets one last shot at undisputed gold.

Poirier, a veteran and fan favourite, previously held the interim belt but has twice failed to win the official lightweight title. In 2019, the American was submitted by then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, and in 2021, Poirier lost a title fight against Charles Oliveira – again losing via submission.

As such, Poirier has admitted that he could retire after UFC 302, regardless of his result against Makhachev, who is a mentee and childhood friend of Khabib. In fact, Nurmagomedov will be in Makhachev’s corner in New Jersey, as the champion seeks a third successful title defence.

Makhachev, the UFC’s pound-for-pound No 1, won the title by submitting Oliveira in 2022, and the Russian retained the belt twice in 2022 – beating Alexander Volkanovski both times. Volkanovski, who was featherweight champion at the time, lost to Makhachev on points then by knockout.

In tonight’s co-main event, ex-middleweight champion Sean Strickland faces former No 1 contender Paulo Costa. Their clash, like the main event, is scheduled for five rounds. Follow UFC 302 live updates and results right here.