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Makhachev breaks down Poirier fight: 'He will give his back. Then I will finish'


UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev made it sound so simple when he pieced together exactly how he's going to beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 on June 1.

Makhachev, set to defend his 155-pound title for the third time in next month's main event in Newark, New Jersey, believes he'll finish the fight on the ground.

"We will start and I will try to take him down," Makhachev said in an interview with Yahoo Sports' Ben Fowlkes. "He will try to get me in a guillotine (choke). I will defend the guillotine. I will give him a couple punches. He will give his back. Then I will finish."

Makhachev appeared to make light of the fact that Poirier often jumps for guillotine chokes and fails to secure them, which became somewhat of a running joke in the MMA community after Poirier's win over Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299 in March.

Though Makhachev respects Poirier as one of the toughest fighters in the UFC, the Dagestani champ is confident he'll be able to do whatever he wants in the bout.

However, Makhachev pointed to Poirier's submission losses in past UFC title opportunities - to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira - as reasons he'll have to go above and beyond.

"Every time when (Poirier) fights the champion, somebody chokes him," Makhachev told ESPN's "Good Guy / Bad Guy" podcast. "Now, I have to prepare something special. And we did, in the gym. I have something special for the next fight."

Makhachev, the UFC's pound-for-pound king, will return to action for the first time since a knockout win over then-featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294 last October.

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