Dustin Poirier Has “Curse of Paulo Costa” Working In His Favor For UFC 302

Dustin Poirier and Paulo Costa Curse UFC 302

Islam Makhachev’s lightweight championship belt is up for grabs on Saturday night.

Underdog Dustin Poirier appears to have fate on his side for this matchup.

The “Paulo Costa Curse” is a phenomenon the MMA community can’t ignore. Whenever Costa fights on a PPV undercard, rather than headlining, no champion has successfully retained their title. Regardless of Costa’s performance, the defending champ invariably loses their belt.

It began at UFC 212 where Jose Aldo was defeated by Max Holloway. Costa was also on the card for UFC 217, where Michael Bisping, Cody Garbrandt, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk all lost their titles.

The pattern continued at UFC 226 with Stipe Miocic losing to Daniel Cormier, UFC 241 where Miocic reclaimed his title from Cormier, and UFC 278 where Kamaru Usman fell to Leon Edwards. Most recently, Illia Topuria upset Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 298.

The Curse of Costa stands at 8-0. Undefeated. As LaVar Ball famously said, “Neva lost.”

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Costa will feature on the undercard for UFC 302 in a middleweight bout against Sean Strickland. Although Costa is a +200 underdog in his own fight, the MMA gambling community is abuzz about what this means for Poirier’s long odds.

Poirier is a +450 underdog for his title fight against Makhachev. The 35-year-old Poirier faces a formidable challenge as Makhachev is on a 13-fight winning streak.

However, Poirier’s good fortune extends beyond the Costa Curse.

Poirier is 2-0 in the Tri-State area, and this fight is set at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Moreover, Poirier is 6-0 in the month of June. This bout takes place on June 1, 2024.

Poirier’s June victories date back to 2009 when he submitted Nate Jolly. Other June wins include Derek Gauthier, Jason Young, Yancy Medeiros, Bobby Green, and Dan Hooker, who was Poirier’s last June opponent in 2020.

Despite the favorable factors of Costa, June, and New Jersey, Makhachev remains a tough competitor. If you’re inclined to support the heavy favorite, note that male fighters in the welterweight division and below, aged 35 or older, have a 2-24 record in championship bouts.

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