UFC 236 sees two Interim Title fights. Israel Adesanya vs Kelvin Gastelum for the Middleweight belt and Max Holloway vs Dustin Poirier for the Lightweight championship.
The long awaited intro of Max Holloway to the Lightweight division will take place this weekend. Holloway is set to fight Dustin Poirier for the interim Lightweight title while current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is suspended until November for his part in a brawl between his camp and Conor’s Mcgregor’s team.
Holloway was set to fight Khabib for the interim Lightweight title in April of 2018 but had to pull out of the fight before weigh ins due to complications with his weight cut. Holloway was a originally replacing Tony Ferguson who suffered a torn MCL weeks prior.
This is the second time that Holloway and Poirier will meet each other. They met in February 2012. Where a 23 year old Poirier submitted a 20 year old Holloway by armbar. Holloway may have lost, but showed a lot of promise. Since Holloway lost two consecutive decisions to Dennis Bermudez and Conor Mcgregor, he has strung a 12 fight win streak including back to back wins vs the legend Jose Aldo. Holloway is considered to be one of the most well rounded fighters on the current UFC roster and ranked in top for P4P.
Dustin Poirier has had somewhat of a different path to the title. Poirier is one of the first fighters to make it out of Louisiana. At 30 years old Dustin Poirier has never fought for a title. Since his UFC debut in 2011, he is 15-4. Losses to The Korean Zombie, Michael Johnson, Cub Swanson and Conor Mcgregor.
Both these fighters have brawler styles, Max is a bit more well-rounded but Poirier has been on a tear in the last two year collecting 4 wins and 1 No Contest vs Eddie Alvarez.
Israel “Stylebender” Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will fight for the Interim Middleweight title while Robert Whitaker is out with an injury and illness. Gastelum was scheduled to fight but Whitaker was rushed to the hospital due to an abdonimal hernia and needed immediate surgery.
These two fighters have had different paths on how they reached stardom. Kelvin went through the Ultimate Fighter as a young underdog, dominating everyone on the show. Stylebender has had success showing off his style and and just recently won a decision in a hard fight fight vs his idol Anderson Silva.
Stylebender is the fan favorite in this fight because of all the hype around him, where Kelvin hasn’t always received the respect he deserves. Kelvin’s hit list isn’t something to ignore with back to back wins over Michael Bisping and Jacare Souza and earned himself a shot at the title vs Robert Whittaker.
Styles make fights… so they say. Poirier vs Holloway will for sure be a brawl where Adesanya and Gastelum will be more of a standup tactical fights.
Terry Tam’s Predictions:
- Max Holloway vs Dustin Poirier
- Israel Adesanya vs Kelvin Gastelum
- Eryk Anders vs Khalil Roundtree
- Alan Jouban vs Beanie Sigel
- Ovince Saint-Preux vs Nikita Krylov
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