Islam Makhachev: Dustin Poirier ‘will undoubtedly be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’

UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev is giving Dustin Poirier high praise ahead of their title fight.

Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) defends his title against Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 302 (pay-per-view/ESPN2/ESPN+) headliner at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Poirier, a former interim lightweight champion, will attempt to capture undisputed gold for the third time. His knockout finish of Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299 in March tied Drew Dober for the most in lightweight history.

“First of all, I want to say that Dustin is one of the legends of our sport,” Makhachev said in Episode 2 of his training camp VLOG. “He is someone who will undoubtedly be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. He has been through many tough fights, many title fights, fought for the BMF title, and fought for the UFC title several times. Whether he loses or wins, he will always be a challenge for everyone.”

One of Poirier’s title losses came to Makhachev’s mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, by submission in September 2019. They have now switched roles, with Nurmagomedov being the one to lend a helping hand in training camp.

“I think this fight will be beneficial for us to review and build a plan together,” Makhachev said. “When Khabib was preparing for him, we trained together, and I was already involved in the discussion of the fight preparation plan against Dustin. I don’t think the preparation and plan for the fight will differ much because we know Dustin’s strengths and weaknesses.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie