The anticipation for UFC 302 reached a boiling point as Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier had to be separated during their heated face-off on Thursday. The incident occurred after a press conference in which both fighters had already exchanged points of view about their upcoming match.

Initially, the face-off was composed, with both fighters maintaining a stoic demeanor. However, the atmosphere quickly turned hostile when Makhachev leaned in to say something to Poirier, who promptly responded. The exchange escalated when Poirier, using explicit language, told Makhachev he was going to sleep. Makhachev retorted sharply, "Don’t say motherf*****," further intensifying the confrontation.

Security and UFC play-by-play commentator Jon Anik stepped in to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. The body language of both fighters showed a clear shift, with neither willing to back down. This face-off marks the first time Makhachev and Poirier have come face to face since arriving in New Jersey for Saturday night’s highly anticipated fight.

Both fighters have expressed mutual respect in previous interviews, but Thursday's encounter highlighted the underlying tension and competitive spirit. Makhachev, confident in his wrestling and grappling skills, asserted, “Honestly, I think I am the best fighter in the world right now. That’s why it’s going to be a bad day for Dustin.” He emphasized Poirier’s historical struggles against high-level wrestlers, predicting a similar outcome for their bout.

Makhachev also criticized Poirier's frequent use of the guillotine choke, a submission move that has yet to secure Poirier a victory. He jested that he might need to demonstrate the proper technique to Poirier during their fight.

Poirier, undeterred by Makhachev's comments, confidently predicted a knockout victory. “I knock him out Saturday night,” Poirier declared.

“I’m going to pry that belt out of your hands, bro.” He dismissed Makhachev’s critique of his guillotine choke and emphasized his striking prowess.

Makhachev was quick to remind Poirier that they are competing in mixed martial arts, not boxing. “This is not boxing. This is MMA,” Makhachev said. “If you don’t tap, you will sleep.” Poirier’s retort was equally bold, “Well, you’re going to sleep like it’s boxing.”

The fighters will have one final face-off at Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins, providing a last opportunity for verbal jabs before the title bout on Saturday. With both Makhachev and Poirier exuding confidence and determination, UFC 302 is shaping up to be an electrifying showdown.

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