22 Aug MAX HOLLOWAY VS. DUSTIN POIRIER OPENING BETTING ODDS FOR UFC 236
A bombshell dropped on the MMA world late Friday evening, when ESPN’s Brett Okamoto revealed that UFC president Dana White confirmed to him that there’ll be an interim lightweight title at stake at UFC 236. In 1 corner will be top lightweight contender Dustin Poirier, while in another corner UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will stand, looking to join the select few UFC fighters that have won belts in two weight classes. Below, I’ll give my initial thoughts on the struggle, and also what it implies for the lightweight division.
Dustin Poirier vs. Max Holloway, UFC 236
Poirier and Holloway will meet in the main event of UFC 236 for the interim lightweight name. The card takes place April 13 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The co-main occasion of this card is an interim middleweight title bout between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum, meaning two new UFC champions will be crowned that night.
Before I enter the actual matchup involving Poirier and Holloway, I have to talk about what this implies for the remaining lightweight division. Obviously, the choice to make an interim title usually means the promotion expects UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to be out in the sidelines for a while. Indeed, he is scheduled to return in the oldest in November because of his suspension stemming from the post-fight brawl in UFC 226. It is possible the UFC does not even think he will return before the close of the season is up, and the branch obviously needs to keep going around.
The fighter who has hurt the most with this information is obviously Tony Ferguson, who’s on an 11-fight win streak and that had been the prior interim name holder last year before he slipped on a TV cable and blew out his knee. Ferguson returned last year in UFC 226 having a TKO win over Anthony Pettis and many figured he would be the next competitor for Nurmagomedov. But according to White, Ferguson turned into a interim title struggle with Holloway, and Poirier jumped in and took his own place instead. This implies for Ferguson moving forward remains to be seen, but considering what happened to Colby Covington along with the welterweight division, it appears the UFC has already moved on.
So far as the Poirier vs. Holloway fight goes, it’s an awesome matchup, and really a rematch since the two previously fought UFC 143 back in 2012, with Poirier beating Holloway by submission. Of course, that was Holloway’s UFC debut and he is a very different fighter today. So is Poirier. They are both are the very best of their respective games and this rematch should be amazing. Poirier (24-5, 1 NC) is unbeaten over his last five fights and is coming from a TKO win over Eddie Alvarez. Holloway (20-3) is really on a 13-fight win streak and hauled out Brian Ortega in his last struggle. Both men are really at the top of their game right now and this ought to be an wonderful fight.
The offshore sportsbooks dropped the launching betting odds for the fight, with Holloway opening as a -230 gaming preferred, with the comeback on Poirier in +170. The first betting action has come in on Holloway, however awarded Poirier’s previous win more than him I anticipate some actions to come from his way at some point or another. In any event, the sportsbooks can anticipate a large deal with this particular fight, which promises to be one of the most-anticipated bouts of this year.
Along with Poirier vs. Holloway, UFC 236 additionally features an interim middleweight title bout between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum. You can check out my thoughts about the opening line for this bout here.
Opening Betting Odds
April 13, 2019
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Main Event — Interim Lightweight Title
Max Holloway -230
Dustin Poirier +170
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