Islam Makhachev remained the lightweight king at UFC 302 but he isn’t just satisfied with being the best fighter at 155-pounds.

The pound-for-pound best fighter in the sport today secured his third title defence in Newark with a submission win against Dustin Poirier.

Despite coming in as a heavy favourite, the fight was a tough test for the champion who showcased a lot of different attributes over the five rounds.

His durability and striking were on full display due to Poirier’s ability to defend takedowns and get back to his feet.

As was highlighted in his wins over Alexander Volkanovski and Charles Oliveira, Makhachev’s striking has vastly improved in recent years and he was able to get the better of most of the exchanges. 

Ultimately, it was his grappling and submission threat that closed the show on “The Diamond” after he secured an incredible takedown in the fifth round and locked up a D’Arce choke to get the tap.

The champion paid respect to his opponent in his post-fight interview immediately following a fantastic main event clash in New Jersey.

“I think Dustin need great camp, his coaches working very well and he prepare very good. He defends my takedown and give me a hard time. He’s a champion, legend of the sport, thank you Dustin.”

Makhachev has a variety of submissions on his record from rear-naked chokes to arm triangles to kimuras, which he nearly caught Poirier with in the first round.

The lightweight champion said that the D’Arce is one of his preferred weapons as a technique that is a constant threat no matter the circumstances.

“Yeah, it’s my one favourite choke, doesn’t matter I tired or what happen, I can did this choke all night.”

Ultimately, after matching his coach and longtime training partner Khabib Nurmagomedov’s title defences, Makhachev is now focused on doing something that the great former champion wasn’t able to do in his career.

He has spoken several times during his title reign about wanting to move up to welterweight to try and become the fifth fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously.

Having given Volkanovski the opportunity to do this on two occasions, he believes that he should be granted the same shot to try and make history.

Makhachev told Joe Rogan that he is chasing the feeling of hearing “and new” once again after defending his title doesn’t give him the same feeling.

“It’s dream, I want to fight for the second belt. I want to feel that energy again because when you defend your belt, it’s not same, I need new one.”

“This is my dream and again, thank you Dustin, you are warrior.”

Watch the full post-fight interview from the champion via the UFC’s YouTube channel below: