UFC 302 full results: Islam Makhachev retains belt with 5th-round submission of Dustin Poirier

In perhaps the most dangerous bout of his reign as UFC lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev lived up to his title as the promotion's top pound-for-pound fighter.

The Russian defeated UFC veteran Dustin Poirier with a fifth-round submission to defend his belt in a fight that seemed to be trending against him in the later rounds. He spent much of the fight in control on the ground, but was stuffed on several takedown events and was sporting a gnarly forehead cut going into the fifth.

The whole effort looked like it would be a lot easier in the first round, when Makhachev clocked Poirier, took him down and took his back, spending the next four minutes looking for a choke or arm triangle. Poirier fought all of those attempts off and started to find his footing in the second round. It has proven to be borderline impossible to beat Makhachev on the ground, but Poirier fought him off as much as he needed to and landed some big strikes to keep the fight fairly even.

With the Prudential Center in Newark crowd firmly behind the American underdog, an upset very much seemed possible had Poirier won the fifth round. Makhachev snuffed out that threat with a D'Arce choke and was soon being mobbed by his corner as Poirier laid on the floor, either unconscious or close to it.

It was yet another stellar display of creativity and talent by Makhachev, who said he would next like to compete for the UFC welterweight crown, currently held by Leon Edwards. Makhachev has now defended his belt three times, with the other two coming against former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.

"It's my dream. I want to fight for the second belt. I want to feel that energy again, because when you defend your belt, it's not the same. I need new one," Makhachev said.

As for Poirier, the 35-year-old indicated he was seriously considering retirement, though he said he wasn't 100% yet. This was his third shot at the lightweight belt, with the other two also resulting in submission losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was in Makhachev's corner Saturday, and Charles Oliveira.

"If I do fight again, what am I fighting for? Just to fight? I've done that 50 times," Poirier said. "I don't know. I've got a little girl I love, I gotta see. I think this could be it, honestly."

Here's how the entire UFC 302 card went down. It was a great night if you like wins by decision, some with absolutely inscrutable decisions from the judges.

  • Featured

    RESULT: Islam Makhachev def. Dustin Poirier via submission (d'arce choke) at 2:42 of Round 5

  • "I think this could be it," Poirier tells Rogan after the fight.

  • Makhachev says he wants to fight for the 170-pound belt next.

  • Poirier tells Makhachev he went unconscious right after he tapped.

  • Poirier made the fight fun and never backed down from the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.

  • Poirier gets taken down and Makhachev locks in a D'arce choke and it's all over as Poirier taps out.

  • Poirier lands a big left hand!

  • Poirier needs a finish here in the final round though we have seen some screwy scorecards tonight

  • Round 5 begins. Makhachev's forehead is leaking bad.

  • Replay shows Poirier caused the cut on Makhachev's forehead with a nasty elbow.

  • Makhachev has a huge gash in the center of his forehead likely from a head clash.

  • Makhachev is starting to land heavy shots to the head. Poirier's nose may be broken from the earlier accidental clash of heads.

  • Poirier makes it to the fourth round. Fight seems closer than it is.

  • Poirier may have poked himself in the eye

  • Poirier gets out and up from the ground and is fired up, yelling in Islam's face. Makhachev calmly back away, then lands some quick shots.

  • One minute into Round 3 and Islam has Poirier's back. Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is cornering Makhachev tonight, finished Poirier via rear naked choke in their lightweight title fight in 2019

  • Round 2: Poirier did better than the first, but Makhachev up big on significant strikes.

  • Makhachev finally gets a takedown with 20 seconds left and ends the round on top.

  • Two minutes left. Makhachev's takedown attempts have all been stuffed so far.

  • Poirier is not taking any of Makhachev's head shots well.

  • Round 1: Poirier survives the first round despite Makhachev being in total control for 95% of the round. Poirier defended multiple submission attempts well, but Makhachev will just do more of the same in round 2.

  • Two minutes left in the round.

  • Makhachev had a kimura nearly locked in, Poirier escapes, but gives up his back. Makhachev in control with the body locked.

  • Makhachev lands some shots that seem to hurt Poirier. Makhachev shoots and gets the first takedown of the fight. Crowd is not loving this

  • Round 1 begins.