Dustin Poirier fires back at Islam Makhachev: ‘You’re lying to yourself’ if you don’t think I can win at UFC 302

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Dustin Poirier is just days away from what could be his final shot at becoming an undisputed UFC lightweight champion. Still, his confidence is perhaps higher than ever.

Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) will enter the cage first at Prudential Center this Saturday in the UFC 302 main event, followed by the current title holder Islam Makhachev. “The Diamond” is prepared to shine in what could not only be his last shot at gold but maybe his last fight period, as he has recently hinted at retirement.

Considering the 35-year-old former interim champion’s pre-fight talk, Makhachev has taken it to mean that his opponent and his coach do not believe they can win the fight. Naturally, Poirier scoffed at that notion.

“I can definitely win this fight,” Poirier told reporters at Wednesday’s media day. “If I touch his chin, he’ll go down, and he’ll find that out on Saturday. Maybe that’s something he doesn’t need to believe. Maybe he needs to be positive and be confident walking into this, which he should be. But if you don’t think I have a chance to win, you’re lying to yourself.”

Poirier has challenged for the undisputed title twice before, coming up short against Makachev’s coach and UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira. A rear-naked choke sealed Poirier’s fate in both fights and he is aware Makhachev could present the same threat at UFC 302.

No matter what position he finds himself in on Saturday, Poirier is confident he will emerge victorious if he sticks to his techniques inside of the cage. Poirier knows all of the pre-fight talks means nothing when the cage door shuts, as everything comes down to executing techniques.

“Over the years, if anything, I’ve learned in fighting is the media, my opponents, their camps, and the critics don’t matter, bro,” Poirier said. “It’s in my hands. I’m the only guy who has the opportunity to make this happen or whatever decisions I make under those lights on Saturday, I’m the guy in the driver’s seat. All these other guys talking are passengers, or in the back seat. I steer where this goes. Knowing I have that power, and believing in my skills, I don’t care. It’s all noise.

“… Every time I go out there, it’s a fight. It’s kill or be killed. I know that’s used a lot, people oversay it, but it’s true. I’m going to finish Islam, or he’s going to finish me. That’s just the way I fight.”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie