UFC 302

Islam Makhachev defends against Dustin Poirier in UFC 302 main event in Newark, New Jersey

UFC returns to Newark, N.J. with another stellar card, headlined by UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev and No. 4 ranked contender Dustin Poirier. Also, an action packed five-round co-main event sees No. 1 middleweight contender Sean Strickland square off with No. 7 ranked Paulo Costa.

UFC 302 MAKHACHEV vs. POIRIER takes place Saturday, June 1 at Prudential Center, with the main card available on ESPN+ PPV at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The prelims will be airing on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. The early prelims will be available for viewing exclusively on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

UFC returns to Prudential Center after setting the venue’s live sporting event gate record in 2023 with UFC® 288 headlined by Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo. UFC® 302: MAKHACHEV vs. POIRIER will mark the tenth UFC event at the famed arena dating back to 2007.

Makhachev (25-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) looks to defend his UFC lightweight championship after his commanding knockout victory over former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. The No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world seeks his fourteenth straight victory and a win over another future hall of famer. The world class grappler also holds wins against Charles Oliveira, Bobby Green and Dan Hooker.

Poirier (30-8 1NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Lafayette, La.) returns to action seeking championship gold after a thrilling knockout victory against rising contender Benoit Saint Denis. An Octagon veteran, the former Interim UFC lightweight champion holds wins over elite competition such as Conor McGregor (twice), Michael Chandler, and Dan Hooker. Poirier looks to cement his legacy by claiming the undisputed UFC lightweight championship.

Former UFC middleweight champion Strickland (28-6, fighting out of Corona, Calif.) looks to position himself for another title shot with a win in New Jersey. The relentless striker holds victories over Israel Adesanya, Jack Hermansson, Uriah Hall and Brendan Allen. Strickland now intends to get back in the win column with a victory over fan favorite Paulo Costa.

Costa (14-3, fighting out of Contagem, Minas Gerais, Brazil) returns to action seeking a statement performance. The explosive Brazilian fighter looks to ascend back up the middleweight rankings with a win over the former champion. “The Eraser” has notable wins over Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero and Uriah Hall.

UFC 302 current bouts also on the card include:

No. 7 ranked heavyweight contender Jailton Almeida (20-3, fighting out of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil) squares off against Alexander Romanov (17-2, fighting out of Comrat, Moldova) scheduled for three five minute rounds

Octagon veteran Randy Brown (18-5, fighting out of Queens, N.Y.) clashes with Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (24-7, fighting out of Curitiba, Parana, Brazil) in a welterweight bout

HyunSung Park (9-0, fighting out of Phuket, Thailand) and Dana White’s Contender Series alum Andre Lima (8-0, fighting out of Guarulhos, Sao Paulo, Brazil) square off in a battle between undefeated flyweights.

Niko Price (15-7, fighting out of Cape Coral, Fla.) battles Alex Morono (24-9, fighting out of Houston, Texas) in a welterweight tilt

Pivotal matchup scheduled for the middleweight division as No. 9 ranked contender Roman Dolidze (12-3, fighting out of Batumi, Georgia) and No. 12 Anthony Hernandez (12-2 1NC, fighting out of Dunnigan, Calif.) go to battle

Dana White’s Contender Series alum Cesar Almeida (5-0, fighting out of São Paulo, Brazil) collides with Roman Kopylov (12-3, fighting out of Novosibirsk, Russia) in a middleweight bout

Looking to put to their rivalry to rest, bantamweights Ailin Perez (9-2, fighting out of Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Joselyne Edwards (13-5, fighting out of Panama City, Panama) square off

Sumudaerji (16-6, fighting out of Aba, Sichuan, China) looks to stop “The Fearless” Joshua Van (10-1, fighting out of Houston, Texas) in a flyweight bout

An action packed bout is set for the 155-pound division as Dana White’s Contender Series contract winner Grant Dawson (20-2-1, fighting out of Coconut, Creek, Fla.) locks horns with Joe Solecki (13-4, fighting out of Wilmington, N.C.)

Well-rounded welterweights Phil Rowe (10-4, fighting out of Orlando, Fla.) and Jake Matthews (19-7, fighting out of Epping Victoria, Australia) slated for three five minute rounds

New Jersey’s own Mickey Gall (7-5, fighting out of Green Brook, N.J.) makes his return to the Octagon to take on Bassil Hafez (8-4-1, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) at welterweight

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Staff Report