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UFC 302 Headliners Makhachev, Poirier Have Conflicting Views on New Gloves



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Order Now! UFC 302 “Makhachev vs. Poirier” Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+

Islam Makhachev (25-1) has mixed reviews about the new Ultimate Fighting Championship gloves.

The new gloves will debut at UFC 302 where Makhachev is set to defend his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier (30-8) on June 1 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Upon testing the new gloves, Makhachev found them stiffer than the prior generation, restricting the extension of one’s fingers. While the gloves have been re-designed to prevent lacerations, Makhachev believes they could instead lead to more cuts due to the stiffness.

“The [new gloves] are very stiff. As I told you, they will cause more cuts, as the previous UFC gloves were softer,” the Dagestani told Sport 24 in a recent interview. “These are stiffer. They don't let you fully open your hand just to make sure the fingers don't extend straight forward. But overall, they are pretty much the same. I am going to frame them next to the belt, as the first golden gloves in the UFC. I believe that means a lot.”

Meanwhile, Poirier found the new gloves softer and lighter than the old ones. He also likes them better as they allegedly make it easier to make a fist, while the old ones naturally kept one’s fingers outstretched.

Makhachev is currently riding a 12-fight winning streak, tied for the longest in the division’s history. The lightweight champ scored a head kick knockout in a rematch against Alexander Volkanovski in his last title defense at UFC 294 in October 2023.

Meanwhile, Poirier earned the third gold bid of his career under interesting circumstances. Arman Tsarukyan was originally offered the shot after his UFC 300 win over Charles Oliveira last month. “Ahalkalakets” turned it down citing the quick turnaround. With Makhachev adamant on fighting in the summer, the UFC called upon “The Diamond,” who is coming off a second-round knockout win over French standout Benoit St. Denis.

Order Now! UFC 302 “Makhachev vs. Poirier” Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+
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