UFC 302 Betting Odds: Makhachev vs. Poirier Predictions And More

UFC 302 Betting Odds: Makhachev vs. Poirier Predictions And More

The UFC 302 betting odds suggest that the main event will be pretty one-sided! Islam Makhachev is a big favorite against Dustin Poirier in the promotion’s first return to Newark, New Jersey since UFC 288 in May 2023.

Are the best UFC betting sites right? Will Islam win with ease? Check out my Makhachev vs. Poirier prediction and my UFC 302 best bets. All odds in this article are courtesy of BetOnline.

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Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier Odds, Prediction, And Betting Pick

  • Islam Makhachev (-550)
  • Dustin Poirier (+400)

Islam Makhachev, 32, (25-1) opened as a -400 sports betting favorite over Dustin Poirier. The price has since moved to -550 for the lightweight champion, giving Makhachev an implied probability of 84.6% to win this fight.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Islam’s UFC 302 betting odds have gone this way. UFC fans have been backing Makhachev like crazy, making Poirier a massive underdog for this fight. According to Yahoo Sports, the favorite knows how this fight will go:

“We will start and I will try to take him down. 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 is supremely confident in his ability, even though it sounds like he was being a little facetious in this interview. With his track record, he has a reason to be confident. Poirier is going to have his hands full against the Dagestani champion.

Tale of the Tape & Fighting Styles

Islam MakhachevFightersDustin Poirier
1Losses8 (1 NC)
155 lbsWeight155 lbs

Poirier is no slouch himself, as he has some big wins on his resume. Dustin has beaten Conor McGregor and Max Holloway twice, and he has split a pair of matchups with Justin Gaethje. He’s definitely going to want to keep this fight standing up, where he can use his boxing skills.

However, don’t sleep on Poirier’s mat skills as he has eight submission wins. The problem on the ground is that Makhachev is an elite grappler who is trained by former lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov!

I remind you that Khabib beat Poirier for the undisputed 155-pound strap at UFC 242, so he has first-hand experience against his disciple’s next opponent.

Makhachev also held his own against Volkanovski in striking, including a highlight-reel head kick in their rematch at UFC 294. However, you should keep in mind that his opponent was a featherweight moving up in weight, while Poirier is a natural for this class.

Recent Performances & Form

Makhachev won the vacant lightweight belt against Charles Oliveira at UFC 280, then survived a tough unanimous-decision win over then-featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 in 2023’s Fight Of The Year.

Makhachev ended the rivalry (for now) with a first-round head-kick KO over Volkanovski, who took the fight on short notice due to injuries to Oliveira.

Makhachev’s Last Five Fight Results:

  • WIN vs. Alexander Volkanovski via KO (October 21, 2023)
  • WIN vs. Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision (February 12, 2023)
  • WIN vs. Charles Oliveira via submission (October 22, 2022)
  • WIN vs. Bobby Green via TKO (February 26, 2022)
  • WIN vs. Dan Hooker via submission (October 30, 2021)

Poirier, 35, is a former interim lightweight champion, who lost the undisputed championship against Makhachev’s trainer and mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, at UFC 242. He’s also one of the biggest names in the UFC, which means Poirier has had some high-profile fights.

Interestingly enough, he was a surprising underdog in his last fight with Benoit Saint Denis. Poirier turned away the seven-years-younger Saint Denis by knockout and took Gaethje’s place. He was the next man in line for a shot at Makhachev, but he lost the BMF title fight against Holloway in a barn burner.

Poirier’s Last Five Fights

  • WIN vs. Benoit Saint Denis via KO (March 9, 2024)
  • LOSS vs. Justin Gaethje via KO (July 29, 2023)
  • WIN vs. Michael Chandler via submission (November 12, 2022)
  • LOSS vs. Charles Oliveira via submission (December 11, 2021)
  • WIN vs. Conor McGregor via TKO (July 10, 2021)

Makhachev vs. Poirier Betting Pick

It’s tough to see a way through for Poirier in this match. He has a career takedown-defense percentage of 63%, and you can bet Makhachev is going to shoot for a takedown early.

Islam also has the tutelage of Nurmagomedov, and it’s easy to see this fight going similar to that. The retired champ smothered Poirier on his way to a submission, so the American has to keep this fight standing and try to knock Makhachev out.

Can Poirier do it? Absolutely. Will he do it? I don’t think so, but I don’t like Islam’s odds for a straight win either. At this point, I recommend waiting for the price for an early finish from the favorite.

Sean Strickland vs. Paulo Costa Odds, Prediction, And Betting Pick

  • Sean Strickland (-210)
  • Paulo Costa (+180)

Strickland, the former middleweight champion, opened up this fight as a -185 favorite. The odds has since reached -210 in his tilt against Costa. As the former champion, Strickland is probably getting a little more backing at the top sportsbooks.

Whether you love or hate him, Strickland’s personality gets more attention from more casual fans than Costa. This probably has something to do with his UFC 302 betting odds going up.

Strickland has an implied probability of 67.7% to win this fight, and the trash talk has already started. The favorite has alluded to Costa’s Brazilian heritage, while his opponent accused him of turning down an earlier fight with him.

The pre-fight press conferences between these two should be entertaining, if nothing else. Keep in mind that this is also a five-round fight. Usually, only main events get five rounds, but Strickland and Costa have both signed up to go 25 minutes.

Tale of the Tape & Fighting Styles

Sean StricklandFightersPaulo Costa
185 lbsWeight185 lbs

This fight is going to be a standup tilt between two of the best strikers in a middleweight division loaded with them. Strickland hasn’t won a fight by submission since March 2014, and Costa hasn’t submitted an opponent since May 2016.

The Brazilian is a massive man, and many have said he should move up to light heavyweight, given his frame. Costa might be the most powerful man at 185 pounds at midweight! Strickland is more technical, using a stiff jab and excellent defensive skills. You won’t see much grappling in this fight.

Recent Performances & Form

Strickland lost the UFC middleweight belt to Dricus du Plessis at UFC 297 in a razor-close split decision. Prior to that, he upset Israel Adesanya to claim the strap as an underdog between +450 and +500. Since incorporating a little more patience into his game, Strickland has been quite successful.

Strickland’s Last Five Fight Results:

  • LOSS vs. Dricus du Plessis via split decision (January 20, 2024)
  • WIN vs. Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision (September 10, 2023)
  • WIN vs. Abusupiyan Magomedov via TKO (July 1, 2023)
  • WIN vs. Nassourdine Imavov via unanimous decision (January 14, 2023)
  • LOSS vs. Jared Cannonier via split decision (December 17, 2022)

Costa has dropped three of his last four fights, starting with a TKO loss to Adesanya as a middleweight-title challenger. He defeated former champion Luke Rockhold in the latter’s final MMA fight, but it was close.

Costa also lost to Marvin Vettori in a match where he showed up 25 pounds overweight. The Brazilian then fared well in a unanimous-decision loss to another former champion, Robert Whitaker, in his most recent fight. However, the recent past hasn’t been good to Costa.

Costa’s Last Five Fight Results:

  • LOSS vs. Robert Whitaker via unanimous decision (February 17, 2024)
  • WIN vs. Luke Rockhold via unanimous decision (August 20, 2022)
  • LOSS vs. Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision (October 23, 2021)
  • LOSS vs. Israel Adesanya via TKO (September 27, 2020)
  • WIN vs. Yoel Romero via unanimous decision (August 17, 2019)

Strickland vs. Costa Betting Pick

Costa’s power is always going to give him a puncher’s chance in any fight. If Strickland decides to stand in the pocket and trade punches, it won’t end well for him.

The former champion should fight a similar style to what he did against Adesanya and du Plessis. Strickland should stick and move, using his jab and his reach advantage to keep Costa at bay.

The American also has a big edge in the conditioning department and can press the pace for the entire fight. If he does this, Strickland should have a relatively easy time against Costa.

The Bet
Sean Strickland

More Odds For UFC 302

I’m confident in these UFC 302 betting picks for the two main fights. You can find the rest of the UFC 302 betting odds for this card at BetOnline, where you can also get a 50% match up to $1,000 as a welcome bonus.

That bonus goes up to 100% if you make your first deposit with crypto. Both offers can be used to bet on UFC 302 and MMA events in general.

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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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