Trump Turns Heads at UFC 302

Trump Turns Heads at UFC 302

UFC 302 was highly anticipated by MMA fans with the main card fights drawing a crowd of celebrities including President Donald Trump, Aaron Rodgers, David Njoku and Theo Von amongst others. The main card did not disappoint the star studded crowd. Let’s dive into the fights and the scandal of the night involving judge Dave Tirelli. 

In the Lightweight Championship bout, defending champion Islam Makhachev faced off against Dustin Poirier. Poirer was the crowd favorite receiving many “USA” and “Poirer” chants throughout the fight. Makhachev showcased his dominance, ultimately defeating Poirier via submission (D’arce choke) in the fifth round. With this victory, Makhachev extended his winning streak to an impressive 14 and retained his lightweight title. Poirier fought valiantly and lasted much longer than pundits anticipated but fell short in his quest for undisputed gold in what could be his last UFC bout.

The Middleweight clash between Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa was equally thrilling. Strickland secured a split decision victory over Costa, displaying his toughness and effective striking. Despite Costa’s reputation for wars, Strickland’s strategic leg kicks and elusive style shut him down completely. However, the scoring by judge Dave Tirelli raised eyebrows. His favoring of Costa on the scorecard in 4 of the 5 rounds drew strong criticism from UFC President Dana White. 

Dana White’s reaction in the post-fight press conference to Judge Dave Tirelli’s scoring was candid as we’ve come to expect from White. He labeled it as “f*cking nuts” and expressed frustration over the split decision call in the Strickland vs. Costa bout. White publicly called for Tirelli to be removed from judging significant fights emphasizing the need for better judging. His comments resonated with fans and officials alike on social media, highlighting the importance of fair and accurate scoring in MMA.

In other notable fights on the main card, Kevin Holland returned to form, submitting Michal Oleksiejczuk with an armbar in the first round. Holland held Oleksiejczuk in the armbar position for close to 30 seconds waiting on a tap that never came before breaking Michal’s arm to end the fight. Additionally, Niko Price secured a unanimous decision win over Alex Morono, while Randy Brown outpointed Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in a very competitive welterweight clash.

The Tirelli scandal and favorites running the table will be what fans remember about UFC 302 but already many are looking ahead with excitement to Conor McGreogor’s return to the Octagon in UFC 303 at the end of the month.