Javier Mendez confident Dustin Poirier’s guillotine won’t work on Islam Makhachev at UFC 302

Dustin Poirier is known in the MMA world for his persistence and never-give-up attitude.

He’s 15 years and 39 professional fights into his MMA career, and yet here he is once again fighting for an undisputed UFC title. This Saturday, Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) challenges UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) in the main event of UFC 302, which takes place at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Poirier’s unbreakable determination is not something only seen in his trajectory in the UFC, but also in his fights. Apart from countless comebacks and Fight of the Nights, he’s become infamous for his guillotine choke attempts, a submission he’s yet to land in his career. 

Javier Mendez, head coach of Makhachev, advises Poirier against the guillotine choke, as he’s seen its effectiveness firsthand when Poirier fought Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019.

“Look, the first time when Khabib fought Dustin, Khabib told Islam, we’re going to train the guillotine, and they did it,” Mendez told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “In the fight, they had already talked about the guillotine, so they would let Poirier exhaust his arms. So what happened is that Khabib got in that position against Dustin. It was the first corner I worked with Khabib’s dad. I had never worked with his dad before, so when he went for it, Khabib’s dad and I turned and looked at each other and threw our hands up like, ‘Ahh, what a dummy. He’s going to burn his arms out.’

“So look, if Dustin plans to do that with Islam, there’s a great chance that the same thing is going to happen. Islam is very, very tough to finish that way. If he couldn’t do it against Khabib, I think it’s best he goes for something else because there’s a good chance you’re not going to get it this time.”

Mendez is not only confident that Makhachev will be able to defend Poirier’s guillotine chokes, but also every attack. He believes his student has a big advantage over Poirier and expects him to win convincingly.

“We already fought him, so we know everything he can do,” Mendez said. “He’s very dangerous, very dangerous. If we treat him as dangerous, and we do what we’re supposed to do, it’s not going to be a tough fight for us. It’s going to be a fight that favors us. Islam is incredible in all areas and disciplines. He’s got the boxing, the jiu-jitsu, the Muay Thai. He’s got it all. Sambo. He’s got it all, and that’s why he’s the No. 1 in the world.”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie