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In an intense battle at UFC 302, Islam Makhachev submitted Dustin Poirier with a D’Arce choke in the fifth round, claiming victory in the lightweight title bout. Poirier initially struggled in the fight, surviving Makhachev’s takedown attempts in the early rounds. However, Poirier managed to find success in Round 2 with effective striking in the pocket and clinch, much to the delight of the crowd at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Despite the support for Poirier, Makhachev remained focused on his game plan and continued to press forward.

As the championship rounds began, both fighters showed signs of wear and fatigue, with Poirier delivering punishing body shots to Makhachev. In a clinch sequence against the cage, Poirier unleashed a barrage of strikes before cutting Makhachev above the eye. The fighters exchanged blows and blood as they headed into the final round, where Makhachev secured a takedown and ultimately submitted Poirier with the D’Arce choke. After the fight, Makhachev called for a welterweight title shot as he celebrated his third successful lightweight title defense.

Following the defeat, Poirier hinted at retirement but remained undecided. Emotional in his post-fight speech, Poirier thanked his loved ones for their support throughout his career. The event also featured other exciting matchups, including Sean Strickland’s split decision victory over Paulo Costa, Kevin Holland’s technical submission win over Michal Oleksiejczuk, and Niko Price’s unanimous decision win over Alex Morono. The card also saw entertaining fights between Randy Brown and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, Roman Kopylov and Cesar Almeida, and Jailton Almeida’s submission win over Alexandr Romanov.

Grant Dawson secured a unanimous decision victory over Joe Solecki, while Jake Matthews defeated Phil Rowe in another unanimous decision. Bassil Hafez claimed a unanimous decision win over Mickey Gall, Ailin Perez defeated Joselyne Edwards via unanimous decision, and Andre Lima secured a split decision victory over Mitch Raposo. The event concluded with Makhachev’s impressive submission win over Poirier, solidifying his status as the lightweight champion and setting the stage for potential future matchups in the welterweight division. A full breakdown of the event can be found on MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302.

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