The 10 | Explosive Summer Gets Underway In June

Strickland returns for the first time since losing the middleweight title in January by split decision, eager to get right back into the win column and cement his standing as a top-tier contender in what is a currently fluid division. For the first time since 2019, Costa competes twice in the same year, stepping back in four months after his entertaining loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 298 in Anaheim, looking to avoid a 1-4 run over his last five fights.

RELATED: Middleweight Title Picture Comes Into Focus In June

Stylistically, we should be in for a quality dust-up here, as Strickland’s high-volume approach generally forces the attack, and his constant forward pressure should provide Costa with ample opportunities to fire on an advancing target. Mix in the pre-fight banner and likely in-fight verbal exchanges between the two and you have the makings of a highly anticipated co-main event at UFC 302.

Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier

Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev puts his title on the line against veteran challenger Dustin Poirier, who looks to make the most of what is likely his final chance to claim championship gold.

Makhachev earned a pair of impressive victories over Alexander Volkanovski in 2023, out-lasting the former featherweight champion in an instant classic in February before stopping him in the first round in their short-notice rematch in October. He’s now won 13 consecutive contests and continues to look better each time out, which is a scary thought for Poirier and all other lightweight hopefuls.

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