The journey and circumstances that led us to the UFC 236 main event of UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway facing Dustin Poirier for the interim UFC lightweight title.
Two interim UFC titles will be on the line at UFC 236, headlined by a bout for the interim UFC lightweight title featuring current featherweight champion Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier.
An interim championship is needed due to the suspension of current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov faced Conor McGregor in his most recent bout at UFC 229, successfully retaining the title with a fourth-round submission. After the match, however, a melee occurred that saw Nurmagomedov jump out of the Octagon to go after McGregor’s corner, and McGregor briefly brawled with some of Nurmagomedov’s teammates.
Nurmagomedov received a nine-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the aftermath. The Dagestani champion is eligible to return in July; however, he has stated he’s willing to wait out with teammates who have been suspended one year and he refuses to fight in Las Vegas. Due to all this, an interim championship has been deemed needed.
The plan was for former interim champion Tony Ferguson to face off against Holloway at UFC 236, but Ferguson refused the bout, wanting to fight for nothing but the actual world title. Holloway will now face Poirier, with the winner slated to fight Nurmagomedov at some point in late summer or during the fall. The two faced off back at UFC 143 in 2012, with Poirier victorious via first-round submission, marking the first loss of Holloway’s pro career.
Holloway is currently on a 13-fight win streak, winning the interim featherweight title at UFC 206, unifying the title at UFC 212 and making two defenses. He has not lost since back-to-back decision losses to Dennis Bermudez and McGregor in 2013. Poirier has not lost in his last five bouts (four wins and one No Contest), with his last loss coming to Michael Johnson in September 2016. Since then, Poirier has defeated Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez.
UFC 236 takes place on Saturday, April 13, 2019, live from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Follow along with FanSided MMA, who will be cageside, for all your live results and highlights throughout the week.