Islam Makhachev says Conor McGregor is training for Michael Chandler ‘in the club,’ mocks UFC 302 prediction

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Islam Makhachev isn’t convinced by Conor McGregor’s analysis of his UFC 302 title defense vs. Dustin Poirier.

Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC), who has fought Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) three times in his career, said he thinks “The Diamond” can knock Makhachev out in Saturday’s headliner at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.(ESPN+ pay-per-view).

McGregor said Makhachev has “been knocked out by a back check hook from a southpaw before, and that’s one of Dustin’s best shots.” That’s true on paper with Poirier’s skillset, but Makhachev said it doesn’t apply to the matchup with him.

“Dustin can land this with Conor who has become very old guy,” Makhachev told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “But I don’t give him some chance to land some punch to me.”

Makhachev has already expressed he would be open to a matchup with McGregor if the Irishman can win his highly-anticipated comeback fight with Michael Chandler at UFC 303 on June 29 in Las Vegas. However, that possibility goes out the window with a loss.

There’s some red flags as UFC 303 approaches, too, with McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) recently being caught on camera partying at a nightclub less than six weeks from the event. Makhachev said the injury layoff combined with McGregor’s apparent lack of focus makes it a hard fight to pick, but he’s leaning toward Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC).

“I don’t know who is going to win, but now it’s more focus, more training Chandler that’s why he can beat him,” Makhachev said. “Maybe (Conor) do some camp in the club.”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie