UFC 236: Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier battle for interim lightweight title in Atlanta
14 April 201905:58 GMT
POIRIER'S INCREDIBLE RUN
For Dustin Poirier, tonight's UFC interim lightweight title win was a long time coming. A former featherweight contender, Poirier opted to move up to 155lbs to compete at his more natural weight and avoid the increasingly difficult weight cuts to make the featherweight limit.
The move paid huge dividends, as he has produced the best performances of his fighting career since joining the lightweight division.
Since relaunching his career as a 155-pounder, Poirier has defeated the following:
- Diego Ferreira
- Yancy Medeiros
- Joseph Duffy
- Bobby Green
- Jim Miller
- Anthony Pettis
- Justin Gaethje
- Eddie Alvarez
- And now Max Holloway
That's an incredible list of talent, including three UFC world champions - and he's beaten them all.
And now he wants Khabib next!
- 05:44 GMT
"SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER"
Here at RT Sport, we scored the fight the same as the judges, giving the fight to Poirier 49-46, but one man who saw it differently was none other than reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who said he scored it a draw.
Then he congratulated Poirier on his title win, finishing with an ominous: "See you in September," followed by some nice use of emojis to signify 'The Eagle' vs 'The Diamond.'
I don’t agree with the judges 49:46, I got a draw, my respect to both fighters, and Porier’s achievement so far cannot be denied, my congratulations Dustin, see you in September. 🦅 vs 💎— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) April 14, 2019
- 05:40 GMT
POIRIER OUTWORKS HOLLOWAY TO CAPTURE TITLE
Dustin Poirier put on the best performance of his UFC career to outpoint Max Holloway in the main event and secure the UFC interim lightweight title.
The Louisiana lightweight earned scores of 49-46 on all three scorecards after an incredible back-and-forth fight with UFC featherweight world champion Holloway that went all the way to the judges' scorecards.
Poirier looked stronger and more powerful than the Hawaiian throughout the fight, and that power advantage translated to the scorecards as he captured the first UFC title of his long career.
- 04:26 GMT
ADESANYA WINS AN INSTANT CLASSIC
The battle between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will go down as one of the best title fights in UFC history.
Gastelum started the better of the two, but Adesanya found his rhythm in the second and third rounds to establish a mid-fight lead. Gastelum came storming back in the fourth to set up a dramatic finale, but a phenomenal final frame by Adesanya earned him a 10-8 on the cards as he lit up the octagon to capture the UFC interim middleweight title.
The judges all scored it the same: 48-46, 48-46, 48-46 as Adesanya celebrated winning one of the most exciting title fights we've seen in many a year.
- 03:42 GMT
ROUNTREE PUTS ON A CLINIC
Ahead of his UFC 236 bout with Eryk Anders, Khalil Rountree jetted off to Thailand to work on his Muay Thai and came back a changed man.
The big Las Vegas native now has some slick Muay Thai skills to back up his already impressive abilities, and he showcased it all to the world with a dominant striking display against Anders.
Rountree dropped Anders on multiple occasions as he ran out a landslide decision winner, polling scores of 30-26 on all three judges' scorecards.
It's the latest big win of Rountree's career, and a performance that will open up all sorts of interesting possibilities in the months ahead.
- 02:30 GMT
KRYLOV GETS HIS REVENGE
Nikita Krylov lost out to Ovince Saint-Preux via Von Flue choke submission when they met back in UFC 171 in 2014, but 'The Miner' got his revenge tonight at UFC 236 in their light-heavyweight rematch.
Krylov endured some tricky spots on the mat, but eventually turned the tables to flatten out the big Tennessee native and finish him via second-round rear-naked choke.
- 01:38 GMT
STEAMROLLA ROLLS ON
Matt 'Steamrolla' Frevola may have conceded height and reach to his opponent Jalin Turner, but he used his wrestling to superb effect to capture the unanimous decision win.
Frevola mixed up his punches with takedowns and delivered a relentless 15 minutes of pressure to secure a shutout win on the scorecards, with all three octagonside judges scoring it 30-27 for the New York native.
- 01:07 GMT
PANTOJA PROVES HIS WORTH
No.5-ranked flyweight contender Alexandre Pantoja needed less than three minutes to finish the No.4-ranked Wilson Reis by TKO and push his claims for a shot at the 125lb world title currently held by Henry Cejudo.
It was a superb performance as he hurt Reis with a big straight right, then followed his man to the mat and finished him with ground strikes.
- 00:59 GMT
MAX GETS THE WIN
No, not THAT Max (at least, not yet...).
Max 'Pain' Griffin went head to head with Russian striker Zelim Imadaev in a wild back-and-forth brawl that went all the way to the judges' scorecards.
And, thanks to a strong wrestle-heavy approach that proved effective against the wild striking of Imadaev, Griffin took the victory by majority decision with scores of 29-27, 29-27, 28-28.
- 00:56 GMT
REMATCH FOR THE GOLD
When Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway first met inside the octagon, Holloway was a young prospect making his UFC debut, while Poirier was already a dangerous rising contender in the featherweight division.
At the time, "The Diamond" had the upper hand as he won the fight by submission, but Holloway showed in that early performance that he had something in his game that could potentially take him far in the UFC.
Now the pair are set to meet again as lightweights, and the vacant UFC interim lightweight title is on the line.