MAX HOLLOWAY VS. DUSTIN POIRIER OPENING BETTING ODDS FOR UFC 236
Even a bombshell dropped on the MMA world late Friday evening, when ESPN’s Brett Okamoto revealed that UFC president Dana White affirmed to him that there will be a interim lightweight title on the line at UFC 236. In 1 corner will be top lightweight contender Dustin Poirier, whilst in the other corner UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will stand, trying to join the select few UFC fighters that have won straps in two weight classes. Below, I’ll give my first thoughts on the fight, and also what it means for the lightweight division.
Dustin Poirier vs. Max Holloway, UFC 236
Poirier and Holloway will meet in the primary event of UFC 236 for its interim lightweight title. The card takes place April 13 in State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The co-main occasion of the card is an interim middleweight title bout between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum, meaning two fresh UFC champions will be crowned that night.
Before I enter the actual matchup between Poirier and Holloway, I have to speak about what this means for the remaining lightweight division. Obviously, the choice to create an interim title means the promotion expects UFC lightweight winner Khabib Nurmagomedov to be outside in the sidelines for some time. Indeed, he is scheduled to return in the earliest in November due to his suspension stemming from the post-fight brawl in UFC 226. It’s possible the UFC doesn’t even think he will return before the end of the season is up, and the division obviously needs to keep going around.
The fighter who gets hurt the most by this information is clearly Tony Ferguson, who is on an 11-fight win series and that was the prior interim title holder last year before he slipped to a TV cable and blew his knee out. Ferguson returned late last year at UFC 226 with a TKO win over Anthony Pettis and most figured he’d be the next opponent for Nurmagomedov. However, according to White, Ferguson turned into a interim name struggle with Holloway, and Poirier jumped in and took his spot instead. This implies for Ferguson going forward remains to be seen, but considering what happened to Colby Covington along with the welterweight division, it appears the UFC has moved on.
So far as the Poirier vs. Holloway fight goes, it is an great matchup, and really a rematch since the two previously fought UFC 143 back in 2012, together with Poirier beating Holloway by submission. Of course, that has been Holloway’s UFC debut and he is a completely different fighter now. So is Poirier. They’re both are the top of their various 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 on a 13-fight win streak and knocked out Brian Ortega in his last fight. Both men are truly at the top of the game at this time and this should be an amazing fight.
The offshore sportsbooks dropped the launching gambling odds for the fight, with Holloway opening as a -230 gaming preferred, with the comeback on Poirier at +170. The first betting action has come in on Holloway, however given Poirier’s previous win over him I anticipate some action to come from his way sooner or later or another. Either way, the sportsbooks can expect a large deal with this battle, which claims to be one of the most-anticipated bouts of this year.
In addition to Poirier vs. Holloway, UFC 236 also features an interim middleweight title bout between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum. You can have a look at my thoughts on the opening lineup 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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