Dustin Poirier: UFC 302 title shot vs. Islam Makhachev is ’25 minutes to finish the story’

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – It’s all been leading to this moment for Dustin Poirier at UFC 302, and he has no doubt he will achieve his final career accomplishment by taking Islam Makhachev’s lightweight title.

After two failed bids at an undisputed championship, Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) gets what he’s described as his final shot at the belt when he challenges Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) in Saturday’s headliner at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (ESPN+ pay-per-view).

Poirier described his first title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 in September 2019 as “25 minutes to make life fair.” It didn’t happen for him. In his second chance against Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 in December 2021, it was “25 minutes for eternity.” Poirier carries a similar mantra into UFC 302, and he has the utmost belief a lifetime of work in MMA has led to this moment.

“Twenty-five minutes to finish the story – that’s what this is,” Poirier told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “It’s going to be incredible to finish the story this way. Undisputed. Pound-for-pound No. 1. Dreams can come true, and I’m going to show you Saturday.”

For Poirier to pull off the upset, he’s going to have to overcome a similar hurdle to what has plagued him in his career. Makhachev is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world according to the official UFC rankings, and he said he thinks he will beat Poirier “easy” on fight night.

Poirier knows all the elements are going against him in this moment, but he said he’s crossed ever T and dotted every I to ensure that this time, he leaves with gold around his waist.

“I’ve had trouble with this style of fights my whole career,” Poirier said. “It’s definitely a tough mountain to climb for me, it’s a hard challenge. No. 1 pound-for-pound guy. But it is what is: It’s a fight.”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie