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UFC 302 Makhachev-vs-Poirier poster

UFC 302 Preview: Health Concerns, Predictions, and Betting Picks

As UFC 302 approaches, the Ringside Report MMA team dives deep into the drama and predictions for Poirier vs. Makhachev and Strickland vs. Costa. Discover the latest insights, health concerns, and betting strategies that could shape this explosive event. Don't miss the analysis and expert opinions leading up to fight night!

The excitement for UFC 302 is reaching its peak as fans gear up for a thrilling event headlined by Dustin Poirier vs. Islam Makhachev. In the latest episode of Ringside Report MMA, hosts Dave Simon, Fred Garcia, and AJ D’Alesio explored crucial topics, including Makhachev’s health, the main event predictions, the co-main event between Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa, and their top betting parlays and predictions. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of their discussion.

Key Takeaways

  • Islam Makhachev’s Health: Concerns over a staph infection could impact his performance against Dustin Poirier.
  • Main Event Predictions: The hosts are divided, with Dave and AJ leaning towards Poirier, while Fred believes in Makhachev’s grappling.
  • Co-Main Event: Sean Strickland is favoured to outlast Paulo Costa, with predictions pointing to a decision win.
  • Betting Parlays: Fred and Dave have straightforward picks, while AJ’s parlay includes a potential upset with Poirier.
Watch our UFC 302 Preview above or listen to the audio podcast below

Islam Makhachev’s Health Concerns

A major talking point in the episode was the health of Islam Makhachev, the current UFC lightweight champion. Speculation arose when a recent photo of Makhachev showed what appeared to be a staph infection on his leg. Dave Simon quickly brought this to the table, saying, “That is the leg of the current UFC lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev.”

Conor McGregor’s explosive accusation that Islam Makhachev concealed a staph infection has escalated tensions ahead of UFC 302. Using social media, McGregor alleged Makhachev hid a severe health issue, sparking a heated exchange. Makhachev refuted the claims, focusing on his preparations and attributing the controversy to their ongoing feud.

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Islam Makachevs Leg Allegedly With A Staph Infection
Islam Makachev’s Leg Allegedly with a Staph Infection

AJ D’Alesio, always keen on health issues, noted, “He’s on antibiotics. Freddie. That’s the problem.” The trio discussed how this infection could impact Makhachev’s performance. Fred Garcia tried to stay optimistic, adding, “I mean, I think it looks under control. I’m not sure about how much the antibiotics will affect him. He’ll be good on fight night.”

Conor Mcgregor Getting Ready For Ufc 300
Conor McGregor ignited a firestorm.

McGregor’s Bold Accusation

Conor McGregor ignited a firestorm of controversy by publicly accusing Islam Makhachev of harbouring a staph infection just days before UFC 302. Noticing a mark on Makhachev’s leg, McGregor took to social media to voice his concerns, claiming the fighter was concealing a severe health issue.

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Despite deleting the post, McGregor did not relent, continuing his aggressive verbal attacks on Makhachev and his team. This accusation fueled their longstanding feud, suggesting that Makhachev habitually battled staph infections.

McGregor’s inflammatory remarks quickly spread, casting a shadow over the upcoming fight and diverting attention from the athletes’ preparations to off-cage drama. The accusation lacked substantial evidence but succeeded in stirring significant controversy.

Makhachev’s Calm Response

In the face of McGregor’s accusations, Makhachev maintained his composure and initially chose to ignore the allegations. During a press conference, he firmly denied having a staph infection and reassured fans and critics alike that his training camp had been excellent.

Makhachev dismissed any concerns regarding his health, attributing the controversy to McGregor’s ongoing feud with his team. This calm and measured response contrasted sharply with McGregor’s aggressive social media tactics.

Makhachev emphasized his readiness for UFC 302, focusing on the upcoming fight rather than engaging in off-cage drama. His composed demeanour aimed to shift the narrative back to the sport, underscoring his professionalism amidst the swirling accusations.

Lack of Evidence

Despite the heated accusations, there remains a conspicuous lack of concrete evidence supporting the claim that Makhachev has a staph infection. McGregor’s allegations, fueled by social media speculation, have yet to be substantiated by any verifiable sources.

The mark observed on Makhachev’s leg could plausibly be attributed to standard blood testing and is not indicative of a staph infection. Previous accusations against Makhachev, such as the IV controversy, were similarly disproven.

Ufc 302 Makhachev Vs Poirier Poster
UFC 302 Makhachev vs Poirier poster

Impact on UFC 302

McGregor’s accusations have undeniably intensified the pre-fight atmosphere surrounding UFC 302, shifting the spotlight from the athletes’ preparation to a heated off-cage controversy. The claims have injected additional tension into the event, amplifying the palpable animosity between McGregor and Makhachev’s camps.

Fans and analysts are now fixated on the off-cage drama, overshadowing the fighters’ strategies and training regimens. Makhachev’s dismissal of the allegations aims to re-centre the narrative on his readiness, yet the shadow of controversy lingers. This incident not only underscores the fierce rivalry but also raises questions about the psychological tactics employed in the sport.

As UFC 302 approaches, the focus remains split between the octagon and the swirling accusations.

Dustin Poirier vs. Islam Makhachev Predictions

The main event prediction divided the hosts, especially after discussing Makhachev’s health. Dave Simon, initially skeptical, eventually sided with Dustin Poirier. “I think Dustin Poirier takes it. I think he’s going to shock the world,” he said, highlighting Poirier’s superior striking skills.

AJ D’Alesio, who had initially leaned towards Makhachev, was swayed by the discussion about the staph infection. “Honestly, that concerns me. Not be honest that I see it on the shin, which is a major factor,” he admitted.

However, Fred Garcia held his ground, believing Makhachev’s wrestling prowess. “I’m going to go with a ground-and-pound finish TKO. He predicted that ” could be a submission also,” emphasizing Makhachev’s dominant grappling.

The contrasting views among the hosts reflect the unpredictability and excitement surrounding the main event. Poirier’s striking versus Makhachev’s grappling creates a compelling matchup that could go either way, with health concerns adding another layer of complexity.

Co-Main Event: Sean Strickland vs. Paulo Costa

The co-main event features a highly anticipated bout between Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa. Dave Simon is confident in Strickland’s abilities, stating, “I think Strickland is going to be too much for Paulo Costa. Costa has the power, but Strickland will gas Costa out quickly.”

Fred Garcia shared a similar sentiment, praising Strickland’s defensive skills. “Strickland is so good at deflecting shots, and Costa is not like the cleanest striker,” he said, predicting a decision win for Strickland.

Although AJ D’Alesio agreed with the overall assessment, he cited stats to support his view. “Costa is wild and inconsistent, and he’s going up against a guy like Strickland, who is pretty consistent. His boxing man is super sharp and crisp,” he pointed out.

This matchup pits Strickland’s consistency and defensive prowess against Costa’s power and unpredictability. The hosts’ consensus on Strickland’s advantage suggests that his tactical approach might overwhelm Costa’s aggression.

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Betting Parlays and Predictions

Betting predictions are always a highlight, and the hosts had some interesting picks for UFC 302. Fred Garcia shared his three-fight parlay: “I got Shelton, Almeda, Randy Brown, Sean Strickland.”

Dave Simon preferred to keep it simple, opting for a two-fight parlay. “Let’s just stick with that. I think that’s going to be a winning parlay. Give me a two-fight parlay. Let’s keep it simple. Real simple. We’re doubling our money,” he explained, choosing Sean Strickland and Randy Brown.

AJ D’Alesio, swayed by the staph infection discussion, included Dustin Poirier in his parlay. “I’m going with Dustin Poirier for the win,” he stated, adding Strickland, Kevin Holland, and Roman Coppola to his picks.


UFC 302 promises to be an exciting event with lots of action and potential upsets. The health of Islam Makhachev and the dynamic between him and Dustin Poirier adds an extra layer of intrigue. Whether you’re a betting fan or just looking forward to the fights, this event is set to deliver. Stay tuned to Ringside Report MMA for more insights and live coverage.

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