Robert Whittaker Dismisses Notion Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier Was Close: ‘I Had Him Winning Every Round…’

The main event of UFC 302 ended up being more competitive than many were predicting ahead of this past Saturday night.

Dustin Poirier was able to pose a serious threat to the champion Islam Makhachev, largely by keeping the fight standing and staying safe from submissions.

Whilst the defending champ did secure a takedown and get the submission in the fifth round, up until that point, a lot of the contest took place on the feet.

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Makhachev showed in his fights with Alexander Volkanovski that though it isn’t necessarily his strongest skillset, he’s more than capable of striking with his opponents as his confidence improves in this area.

However, just because Poirier was able to stand and strike, doesn’t mean he was necessarily winning the fight.

Robert Whittaker Says He Had Islam Makhachev Winning Every Round Despite A Great Fight

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Makhachev’s corner, and Khabib Nurmagomedov specifically, were calling for the champion to constantly threaten the takedown.

Whilst he was winning the majority of the striking exchanges, boxing with “The Diamond” is a dangerous game to play.

Makhachev was ahead on two of the judges’ scorecards going into the fifth and final round with Eric Colon and Sal D’Amato both having Poirier in need of a finish to leave with the 155-pound title.

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Judge Chris Lee had the fight even but as he stated on his MMArcade Podcast, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker saw it being far more one-sided for Makhachev.

“The Reaper” stated that despite it being a great fight, the champion was winning each round with his striking or grappling.

“Makhachev beat him there a lot of the rounds, I had him winning every round. I thought he was outstriking him in a lot of the rounds, I understand there was a lot of significant strikes passed between them, there was a lot of tit-for-tat moments but mate, it was great to watch. I thought that was such a, like I said, I think in my opinion it was one of the better title fights we’ve seen in a long time.”  

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