After a rare weekend without significant mixed martial arts action, the UFC is back with a bang. Two interim belts are on the line as one of the most anticipated events of the year takes center stage this Saturday in Atlanta.
Co-main event : Interim Middleweight Championship
Kelvin Gastelum (15-3) v. Israel Adesanya (16-0)
Israel Adesanya is back in the octagon for the fifth time in a calendar year. With a 16-0 record, “The Last Stylebender” has been mowing down the middleweight division. Adesanya has wins over Brad Tavares, Derek Brunson, and Anderson Silva in his last three fights, and is making a claim as one of the UFC’s best strikers. His lengthy frame and lightning quick combos have opened the door for a shot at the interim title.
After his title shot in February was canceled due to an injury to Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum has a chance to get his hands on the interim belt in the middleweight division. After fighting some of the best fighters in the welterweight and middleweight divisions, Gastelum will not fear Adesanya on Saturday. Gastelum has wins over Michael Bisping and Jacare Souza in his last two fights, and will get another chance to challenge Robert Whittaker if he is able to get the win in the co-main event of UFC 236.
Adesanya enters the fight as the (-175) favorite, as Gastelum is the (+145) underdog.
Main Event : Interim Lightweight Championship
Max Holloway (20-3) v. Dustin Poirier (24-5)
In the main event of UFC 236, Max Holloway gets a chance to redeem his first ever UFC loss when he comes up from the featherweight division to fight Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight belt. Max Holloway is riding a 13 fight win streak, but has never fought at lightweight. Known for his relentless boxing, Holloway has not lost since his 2013 loss to Conor McGregor. Coming off of big wins against Jose Aldo and Brian Ortega, Holloway is well deserving of his interim title shot.
Since losing to Michael Johnson in 2016, Dustin Poirier has been on an absolute tear. Poirier has won his last four fights, two of which were against former champs (Anthony Pettis ,Eddie Alvarez). As one of the most well-rounded fighters in the lightweight division, Poirier has the ability to use his boxing or take the fight to the ground.
Holloway enters the contest as the (-230) favorite, as Poirier is the (+225) underdog.
The entire main card is loaded with great fights. Take a look at the three fights that will go down just before the interim belt fights.
Light heavyweight division : Ovince Saint Preux (23-12) v. Nikita Krylov (24-6)
Welterweight division : Alan Jouban (16-6) v. Dwight Grant (9-2)
Light heavyweight division : Eryk Anders (11-3) v. Khalil Rountree (7-3)