Javier Mendez Expects ‘Wiser’ Dustin Poirier At UFC 302, Addresses Islam Makhachev’s Guillotine Choke Game Plan, Predicts 5-Round Battle Win

Islam's coach talks about "The Diamond" and his prediction for UFC 302.

Javier Mendez Talks Islam Vs Dustin
Javier Mendez Talks Islam Vs Dustin - Image credit @dustinpoirier @akajav Instagram
  • Islam Makhachev’s coach Javier Mendez spoke about what they expect from Dustin Poirier
  • Mendez lifted the lid on Makhachev’s guillotine choke game plan for “The Diamond”
  • The coach prefers to win via decision through a dominant performance

Islam Makhachev’s coach Javier Mendez shared his expectations from Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 and also discussed the lightweight champ’s apparent guillotine game plan as well as his prediction.

Dustin learned his lessons

Speaking to Submission Radio, Mendez admitted that they assume “The Diamond” has learned his lessons from his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. They are not ruling out the possibility of Poirier coming in stronger and “wiser” against Makhachev.

“Honestly, I think it’s an older, wiser [and] still dangerous as ever Dustin, so we have to be very careful… We play our game and he’s not going to have the kind of chance that people are expecting but if we don’t play our game, it could go bad for us. He’s a spoiler type of guy and dangerous for sure, we’re definitely not looking at him as an easy fight because he’s not an easy fight… I don’t look at Dustin as anything but a great warrior, a true fighter that’s gonna come out and give it his best and do the ‘Rocky’ type scenario… Our job is to make sure he doesn’t do that,” Mendez revealed.

The guillotine plan could be true

Makhachev mentioned that he would intentionally give Poirier a guillotine attempt just to wear him down before submitting him. According to Mendez, there could be some truth to that as Islam knows it was how Nurmagomedov finished “The Diamond” in their title fight.

Mendez explained that Poirier looked as if he was about to tap “The Eagle” with a guillotine choke but in reality, Nurmagomedov intended it to happen until Poirier’s arms get tired. It can be recalled that after Khabib got out of the guillotine, he went on to submit the worn-out Poirier. That said, Mendez wouldn’t be surprised if Makhachev does the same thing at UFC 302.

“It could be the truth because listen, Khabib and him [Poirier], before Khabib fought him, Khabib and Islam practiced that in the back room before it happened because the whole idea is, people don’t understand that Khabib gave Dustin that [guillotine],” Mendez clarified. “He purposely gave it to him so he can tire him out and so I wouldn’t be surprised if they do something like that, Islam does that, because Khabib did it… We knew it wasn’t going to happen even though a lot of other people thought, ‘Oh it’s close, it’s close.’ No it wasn’t going to be close.”

Islam with a dominant decision win

As for his UFC 302 prediction, Mendez confided that he always prefers a five-round battle and cap it off with a dominant decision win. If possible, he wants things to play out that way for Makhachev at UFC 302.

“No matter what it is, I always like going five rounds because I don’t like to be missing a beat,” Mendez said. “Like if I say [we’ll win] in one round and all of a sudden, we’re going into the second round, my mind is going [and] I don’t want to lose any thought process in the fight that’s present in front of me because if you miss one little thing, it could cost your fighter… I always like going five round decision and by us dominating, and I always like doing it that way.”

Mendez and Makhachev will hope to successfully defend their lightweight title for the third time. As early as now, Makhachev has already acknowledged Poirier’s dangerous guillotine choke attempts but insists that he has been preparing how to counter it.

Watch Mendez’s full interview below:

Published on May 20, 2024 at 1:02 pm
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