‘Islam Is Maybe Even Tougher Than Khabib…’ – Paulo Costa, Michael Chandler, Kevin Holland, & Other UFC Fighters Predict UFC 302 Main Event

Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier will fight at UFC 302 for the UFC lightweight title and the champion is a huge favorite.

Of late, however, Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman, and Alexander Volkanovski have lost their titles in fights that they were favorites to win. 

And over the years, heavy underdog challengers like Matt Serra, Holly Holm, Sean Strickland, and Michael Bisping have proven the oddsmakers wrong in title fights. 

- Advertisement -

Can Dustin Poirier follow suit and finally become an undisputed UFC champion?

Here are notable UFC fighters providing us with their thoughts on the UFC 302 lightweight title fight.

Michael Chandler, Kevin Holland, & Paulo Costa Pick Islam Makhachev To Beat Dustin Poirier At UFC 302

MMA Fighting recently shared a compilation of fighters predicting the winner of the UFC 302 main event. 

- Advertisement -

Michael Chandler claimed that Poirier was the most skilled fighter he’s stepped in the Octagon with, but even then, he couldn’t see “The Diamond” surviving Makhachev’s wrestling. 

“He’ll do all of these different things to win the fight. He’s a certified competitor. With that being said, I think Islam is better than him in every single aspect of the sport, except for the sheer boxing.”

Paulo Costa went a step ahead and claimed that Makhachev might have a better chin than Khabib Nurmagomedov, which further reduces the chances of Poirier coming out with a win.

“Islam is maybe even tougher than Khabib, maybe. You know, because he has best, in my opinion, he has good striker, good striking skills. And in the ground and grappling, I don’t need to say nothing. You know he’s unbelievable good.”

Despite favoring the lightweight champ, Costa agreed this wouldn’t be an easy fight for either side. 

- Advertisement -

Kevin Holland also picked Makhachev to win against Poirier but made it clear that the veteran finally getting to complete his story isn’t an impossible outcome either. 

“So, either way the story can be wrote however, imma be good with it. As long as I get my dub and my check, you know what I mean? I’m good to go baby.”

Cory Sandhagen looked back at recent high-profile upsets to state that anyone has a chance in MMA – and that doesn’t exclude Poirier. 

Jailton Almeida though, who’s a huge fan of Nurmagomedov, thinks Makhachev will certainly defend his belt at UFC 302. 

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, who’ll face Randy Brown in the first fight on the main card, is one of the few people rooting for Poirier based on the striking advantage.

Randy Brown, too, had all the praise for Poirier’s ability to come back from adversity. Calling “The Diamond” his inspiration and someone he relates to, Brown hopes that Poirier wins, even though it’s a hard fight for him stylistically.