Makhachev chokes out Poirier to retain UFC lightweight title

Islam Makhachev rejoices after submitting Dustin Poirier (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Islam Makhachev is still the undisputed king of the lightweight division after successfully defending his belt against one of the most dangerous veterans in the league, Dustin Poirier, during the main event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on June 2, 2024.

The ground specialist from Russia saved the best for last and executed a rare D’Arce choke submission move with only 2:18 remaining in the fifth and final round of the championship bout.

After Makhachev grabbed Poirier’s left foot, the reigning lightweight champion immediately pulled it downward that set-up the takedown.

As Poirier fought for position when he was taken down, Makhachev rushed to the floor, and grabbed his neck area with both his arms.

Now with a full grip on Poirier’s neck, Makhachev then sprawled back and executed the D’Arce choke to perfection.

With the impressive submission win, Makhachev racked his completed title defenses to three fights, with the past two championship bout against Alexander Volkanovski.

After the official match bell rang, Makhachev quickly buckled to work and scored early takedowns on Poirier.

From his body slam takedowns to sweeping kicks, Makhachev looked in control of the match after clearly taking the first round.

However, Poirier showed resiliency and a much-improved ground defense after getting out of several takedown dangers.

Every time Makhachev attempted to take him down, Poirier became more physical and neutralized his ground prowess by using his cage angles in an efficient way.

Poirier then continued to build his momentum in the fight and hurt Makhachev with some big shots using his right hooks.

However, the curtain was officially closed for Poirier after Makhachev pulled off the stunning choke submission move to improve to 26 wins, with 12 of those coming via tapout.

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