Best UFC 302 Bets: Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier Picks

Updated May 13, 2024
Updated May 13, 2024By Chris Boline
mma betting ufc 302

Set to kick off in June, the UFC rolls over to New Jersey with a fantastic card of action at the Prudential Center for UFC 302. Regarding your UFC 302 betting exploits, two contests stick out on this talented lineup. In the main event of the night, Islam Makhachev defends his UFC Lightweight Championship against former interim champion Dustin Poirier. Meanwhile, a five-round middleweight bout between former UFC Middleweight Champion Sean Strickland and former title challenger Paulo Costa is expected at this event as the co-main event. Of course, both matchups will have huge implications on their respective divisions and are definitely must-watch events for any UFC fan. 

For this article, SBS will cover what to know about each fighter, go over a predicted winner, and also go over some additional information regarding UFC 302 betting. 

UFC 302 Main Event BoutsThe PickBetOnlineBetUSBetNow
Islam Makhachev (c) vs. Dustin PoirierMakhachev-500-500-500
Sean Strickland vs. Paulo CostaStrickland-210-210-210

UFC Men’s Lightweight Championship overview: Islam Makhachev (c) vs. Dustin Poirier

Fighter Spotlight: Islam Makhachev

A fantastic fighter, Makhachev has been recognized as perhaps the best overall fighter in the UFC, at least according to the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings. In his stellar MMA career, he has accrued a record of 25-1 with 11 submission victories to go along with five knockout finishes. A devastating fighter, Makhachev has not lost since UFC 192 in October 2015. In his last three bouts, he has accrued a variety of accolades, including Performance of the Night twice (wins against Alexander Volkanovski and Charles Oliveira) and also the 2023 Fight of the Year against Volkanovski at UFC 284. Makhachev is indeed worth the hype as an accomplished grappler and sambo specialist, and few have been able to slow him down as of late with all of his victories coming by way of stoppage or unanimous decision. 

Fighter Spotlight: Dustin Poirier

A fighter with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Poirier is known as an excellent striker with a proficiency for excelling in the striking arts with great boxing skills. In the past, he has showcased this talent in fantastic victories over the likes of Justin Gaethje, Dan Hooker, Max Holloway, and Conor McGregor. Another fighter with a great record at 30-8, the American competitor has won the UFC Lightweight title before, albeit in an interim fashion over Holloway back in April 2019. Most recently, he scored a Fight of the Night victory over Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299 in March. A recognized UFC veteran, this matchup against Makhachev could finally be the opportunity Poirier needs to notch the title belt in unanimous fashion. 

Prediction: A fantastic matchup, take Makhachev to win over the scrappy Poirier in New Jersey. While there is an outside chance of the latter scoring the upset here, Makhachev has just been too dominant to think that there could be some slowdown in his game. 

Islam MakhachevTo win against Dustin Poirier
-500
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UFC Men’s Middleweight contest breakdown: Sean Strickland vs. Paulo Costa

Fighter Spotlight: Sean Strickland

The former UFC Middleweight Champion, Strickland has been operating at a very high level since the start of 2023. While he did lose his title crown to Dricus du Plessis at UFC 297 in a dramatic split decision, the Anaheim, California native still had an amazing campaign last year. In three contests in 2023, he won his light heavyweight debut against Nassourdine Imavov, knocked out Abusupiyan Magomedov in Performance of the Night fashion, and finally stopped the imposing Israel Adesanya to win the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 293. A fighter with some solid stopping power, Strickland has won 11 times in knockout fashion, helping him accrue an overall mark of 28-6. This could be the big rebound match he is looking for as he works his way back into contention for the middleweight title. 

Fighter Spotlight: Paulo Costa

Stickland’s opponent in this matchup, Costa, is a daunting threat who has been on some hard times as of late. Starting his career with an impressive 13-0 record, the Brazilian fighter matched up with Adesanya at UFC 253 in a bid for the title, but was knocked out in the second round of the fight, losing via TKO. In his last four fights, he has accrued a mark of 1-3 which of course is a far cry from where he started his career. In his most recent bout, he lost unanimously to Rober Whittaker at UFC 298 this past February. Of course, this is still a competitor with 11 career knockout wins who is a threat at any time to take down his opponent in stunning fashion. 

Prediction: Certainly an interesting matchup, Strickland has more momentum coming into this fight, but Costa could definitely pull the minor upset thanks to his knockout power. That said, take Strickland to win here in New Jersey and get back in the title scene. 

Sean StricklandTo win vs. Paulo Costa
-210
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Additional thoughts and notes for your UFC 302 bets

Once you are all dialed in regarding your UFC 302 betting card, make sure to peruse all the fantastic information available to you only at SBS. Of course, for even more information on your UFC 302 bets and beyond, check out the UFC betting sites guide which goes over all of the latest UFC betting markets and beyond. Conversely, for those looking to juice up for the best UFC 302 bets, look no further than our best bonus betting sites rundown. Here you can find a catalog of the latest welcome bonus offers to help maximize your UFC 302 picks and beyond. Finally, for those on the go, the best betting apps breakdown is a fantastic page to learn more about the nuances of mobile betting and how you can always stay on top of the action. 

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About the Author

Chris Boline
Chris Boline

As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball. Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.

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