VIDEO: All UFC 302 media day interviews - Islam Makhachev, Dustin Poirier, Sean Strickland, and other main card fighters

Islam Makhachev (left) and Dustin Poirier (right) were one of many fighters with notable UFC 302 media day interviews [Image Courtesy: @ufc via Instagram]

UFC 302 takes place this Saturday and marks what is likely Dustin Poirier's last-ever crack at undisputed championship gold in the promotion. He faces lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, who can equal the division's all-time title defense record if he beats 'The Diamond' in Saturday's main event.

Elsewhere on the card, former middleweight champion Sean Strickland faces well-known 185-pound bruiser Paulo Costa, who is eager to work his way back into title contention. With thrilling fights from top to bottom, it comes as no surprise that the UFC 302 media day interviews are studded with big names.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos will be a new fighter come fight night

As one-half of the main card's opening bout, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos is aware of the kind of platform he's been given. He faces Randy Brown in a bout that he has promised will be a showcase for his evolved skill set. The Brazilian has claimed that the training camp ahead of his bout was his career's best.


The streaking welterweight, who is on a four-fight unbeaten streak, spoke about how healthy he feels and that he is more than eager for Saturday's fight. In fact, he revealed that he tapped into his Capoeira roots, practicing the martial art extensively in camp.

Randy Brown's priorities have shifted

Randy Brown hailed his opponent, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, as a savvy veteran whose style he feels matches up well with his and that fans should expect a show come fight night. However, Zaleski dos Santos isn't the only fighter Brown had something to say about. This time, it wasn't positive.


He lambasted Michael Chiesa, who he previously wanted to fight due to the latter's then ranking and name recognition, for accepting a bout with a declining, aging Tony Ferguson. The lanky welterweight claimed to no longer be interested in a matchup with Chiesa, as the latter is now unranked and of no value to him.

Alexander Romanov warns Jailton Almeida

At one point, Alexander Romanov was an undefeated heavyweight prospect with high-level wrestling and grappling. Now, he is on a rough patch, having lost two of his last three bouts, with his most recent win being an uninspiring unanimous decision win over Blagoy Ivanov.


Nevertheless, the Moldovan freestyle wrestler believes that his opponent, Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Jailton Almeida, should be wary of trying to take the fight to the ground, as Romanov promised that there is nothing his foe can do on the mat that he hasn't already seen.

Jailton Almeida vows to change his fortune

Jailton Almeida went from being on a 15-fight win streak, most of which consisted of finishes, to losing in stunning fashion to Curtis Blaydes, who knocked him out at UFC 299. The Brazilian's previous performance was a neutered grappling-heavy win over Derrick Lewis, defined by a lack of desire to finish his foe.


Amid talk of him being a 'wet blanket,' Almeida is now aiming to bounce back from his first UFC loss to Blaydes, which he claims has motivated him to improve as a fighter and return to the win column.

Michał Oleksiejczuk has his heart set on another opponent

At UFC 299, Michał Oleksiejczuk was on the receiving end of a one-sided submission loss, courtesy of Capoeirista extraordinaire Michel Pereira. Now, at UFC 302, he faces another unorthodox striker with a penchant for showmanship in Kevin Holland. The middleweight Pole, though, wants a different foe.


After his bout with 'Trailblazer,' 'Hussar' wants to fight Sharabutdin Magomedov, the UFC's latest Dagestani acquisition, whose hometown, undefeated record, and impressive striking have drawn significant attention in the MMA world.

Kevin Holland punctuates his UFC 302 media day interview with humor

While Kevin Holland is known as 'Trailblazer,' he is also known as 'Big Mouth,' for his knack for humor and trash talk inside and outside the octagon. During his UFC 302 media day interview, Holland didn't withhold his thoughts on the MMA landscape. He revealed that he had turned down an offer to face Nick Diaz.


His reasoning was that he didn't want to wait until UFC on ABC 7, which is on Aug. 3, to fight. Thus, he accepted a short-notice fight against Michał Oleksiejczuk. Furthermore, he criticized Joaquin Buckley's recent claim that he could defeat the great Georges St-Pierre, and even joked about Conor McGregor's antics.

Paulo Costa continues his trash-talking campaign against Sean Strickland in his UFC 302 media day interview

Sean Strickland isn't often on the receiving end of trash talk from his opponents, and is usually the one engaging in verbal warfare. Paulo Costa, however, has taken the initiative, having described the former middleweight champion as a 'soy boy with a liberal chin,' before proclaiming his love for Mexico.


At his UFC 302 media interview, Costa was asked about his comments on Strickland and simply reaffirmed that he does indeed think his opponent to be a 'soy boy with a liberal chin,' offering no explanation for why he does. He also joked about having had no wine ahead of his fight, only 'Secret Juice.'

Sean Strickland goes on another multi-target tirade

Sean Strickland is known for his controversial opinions on anything and everything. His UFC 302 media day interview yielded nothing different. He first described his opponent, Paulo Costa, as a basic fighter whose success comes only from his opponent making mistakes.


He subsequently criticized the UFC's new glove design, agreeing with headliner Islam Makhachev's criticism that they could lead to more cuts due to being more rigid. He also trash-talked NFL legend Tom Brady for the latter's reaction to his Netflix roast.

Dustin Poirier warns Islam Makhachev against underestimating him

Ahead of UFC 302, much has been made about Dustin Poirier's chances, or lack thereof, of dethroning Islam Makhachev, who has enough of a stylistic similarity to Khabib Nurmagomedov to replicate the latter's performance against the challenger. Poirier, however, thinks otherwise.


While he agreed that Makhachev should be confident, as all fighters are, he claimed that if the Dagestani star believes there is no chance of Poirier beating him at UFC 302, then he is delusional.

Islam Makhachev shows respect to Dustin Poirier in his UFC 302 media day interview

Islam Makhachev expressed glee over being given a jacket commemorating the number of clean drug tests he has passed, before mentioning his 2016 lapse, which saw USADA (no longer affiliated with the UFC) suspend him for meldonium, an anti-ischemic. The suspension, though, was later lifted.


On his opponent, Dustin Poirier, the lightweight champion believes that 'The Diamond' recognizes how difficult of a style matchup he is. However, he said that he hopes Poirier reconsiders his plans to retire after the fight, describing him as a big name that he respects.

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