Dustin Poirier has finally chimed in on Islam Makhachev’s submission win over Charles Oliviera at UFC 280 to claim the undisputed UFC lightweight title and “Diamond” is beyond impressed.
As one of the top lightweights on the UFC roster today Poirier keeps a close eye on the division’s best fighters. This would include Makhachev, who put his 10-fight win streak on the line against a red-hot Oliveira last month in Abu Dhabi. Despite Oliveira carrying an 11-fight win streak into that bout and possessing the better resume, Makhachev was still a sizeable favorite to take care of business.
As some expected, Makhachev was simply too much for Oliveira. After hurting “Do Bronx” on the feet Makhachev was able to utilize his elite grappling skills and force the Brazilian to tap for the first time since 2016. It was quite impressive and a victory that has instantly put Makhachev in the discussion as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world today.
I guess $1 million really does pay off.
Poirier, who has shared the Octagon with Oliveira and Makhachev’s predecessor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, was overly impressed with the way the Russian contender conducted himself. All in all, “Diamond” believes it was a flawless performance for Makhachev.
“Man, very impressed,” Poirier told Yahoo Sports. “Very impressed. He went in there and did it as smooth as you can possibly go in there and do it. You know, no marks, no cuts, no bruises, and he’s a world champion. That’s a sweet night, man. I’m very impressed with him.”
One of the biggest question marks surrounding Makhachev entering his first UFC title fight was whether or not he could mix things up against Oliveira. Remember, Oliveira was absolutely destroying the competition coming into that fight and looked as well-rounded as ever. Makhachev needed to show levels to his game and Poirier believes the newly-crowned UFC lightweight king did exactly that.
“I mean, it’s huge,” Poirier said. “You know, you can’t be – in this day and age in mixed martial arts, you can’t be a fighter who has one thing. You have to be able to do it all. You have to be a mixed martial artist, and he showed that. He went out there and hurt Charles and then put him away at his own game. That’s the highest level.”
Poirier, who hasn’t competed since Dec. 2021, is currently expected to fight Michael Chandler next weekend at UFC 281. If “Diamond” is able to get past Chandler then he could line himself up for another No. 1 contender’s bout. After that, Poirier could be staring down a matchup with Makhachev.