UFC 302: Dustin Poirier contemplates retirement after defeat to Islam Makhachev in New Jersey | WWE News

MMA legend Dustin Poirier is considering retirement after pound-for-pound king Islam Makhachev retained his UFC lightweight title at UFC 302 in New Jersey.

The Russian won his 14th straight fight under the UFC banner with a D’arce choke in the third minute of the fifth round to consign Poirier to his third defeat when challenging for a belt.

With former US President Donald Trump among the crowd, Makhachev landed 88 significant strikes – 147 in total – and five takedowns en route to victory.

Poirier, 35, believes that this may have been his final chance at winning the belt and the popular fighter – who was briefly put to sleep after tapping in the fifth and final round at Prudential Center in Newark – is now considering hanging up his gloves.

Islam Makhachev, left, punches Dustin Poirier during the second round of a lightweight title bout at UFC 302 in Newark (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Makhachev punches Poirier during the second round (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

“If I do fight again, what am I fighting for? Just to fight? I’ve done that 50 times,” said Poirier.

“I’ve got a little girl, I’m 35 years old, this might be it. I think this might be it.”

Makhachev, meanwhile, believes it is time he was afforded the chance to become a double-world champion by moving up to welterweight.

“It’s my dream. I want to fight for the second belt. I want to feel that energy again, I need a new one,” said the UFC lightweight champion.

A bloodied Islam Makhachev celebrates after defeating Dustin Poirier in a lightweight title bout at UFC 302 in Newark (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
A bloodied Makhachev celebrates after defeating Poirier to retain the UFC lightweight belt (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Earlier, ex-UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland secured a split decision win over ex-title challenger Paulo Costa.

The 33-year-old American retained number one spot in the middleweight rankings by bouncing back from his title-losing decision match-up against Dricus du Plessis.

Kevin Holland took just one minute 34 seconds to win his middleweight bout with Michal Oleksiejczuk by submission.

Also on the main card, Niko Price and Randy Brown each claimed unanimous decision wins in the welterweight category, beating Alex Morono and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos respectively.

Conor McGregor set for return to action at UFC 303

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CEO and president of the UFC Dana White reveals Conor McGregor will be making a return to the Octagon after a three-year absence

Former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon later this month when he takes on Michael Chandler at UFC 303 in Las Vegas.

It has been three years since McGregor last fought in the UFC after breaking his left leg in the first round of his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier.

The UFC confirmed the welterweight bout for June 29 and it will be contested over five rounds, taking place at the end of International Fight Week.

Conor McGregor has not fought in the UFC since he broke his leg against Dustin Poirier back in 2021
McGregor has not fought in the UFC since he broke his left tibia and fibula against Poirier back in 2021

McGregor, who is 22-6 in his MMA career, has picked up just a single victory since becoming the UFC’s first simultaneous two-weight champion in 2016.

Opponent Chandler featured as the opposing coach to McGregor in the 2023 season of The Ultimate Fighter and UFC chief executive Dana White admitted following the blockbuster announcement – made during the UFC 300 press conference – that the fight has taken time to put together.

“There are all kinds of things that go on behind the scenes, it’s all about timing,” said White.

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Before McGregor made it to the UFC, he took Cage Warriors by storm. Watch how he became a champion in the promotion

“Chandler has been ready but Conor hasn’t been ready. We talked about this at one of the press conferences recently, he had a lot of obligations that he had to deal with.

“What you don’t want him doing is accepting a fight when he’s got a ton of obligations and he can’t train 100 per cent for a fight.

“It’s never hard with Conor, I say it all the time Conor has been a great partner and easy to deal with. We’re back, he’s a smart dude and Conor is a die-hard UFC guy and will be until he retires and beyond.”

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