Max Holloway will make the jump to lightweight at UFC 236, where he will face Dustin Poirier for interim gold.
While it may not sit well with many fans, UFC 236 is scheduled to see two interim title fights. That’s becuase featherweight champ Max Holloway has agreed to move up to 155lbs to face Dustin Poirier for an interim title in Khabib Nurmagomedov’s absence. ESPN was first to report the news.
Poirier and Holloway have met once before, at featherweight. Both suffered defeat at the hands of Conor McGregor, then found different paths to success. Holloway went on a tear at 145, twice defeating Jose Aldo and becoming the undisputed champion in the process. Poirier, meanwhile, moved to lightweight and found success with key wins against Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje.
Lightweight champion Nurmagomedov is in something of a self-imposed exile meanwhile. After being suspended nine months for igniting a brawl at UFC 229 ‘The Eagle’ refused an oopportunity to reduce his suspension by filming an anti-bullying PSA. He is also insisting on sitting out a full year in solidarity with teammates Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, who were banned a full twelve months for their part in the chaos.
This will be Holloway’s second chance at a second title. He attempted to face Khabib short notice at UFC 223, but the prospect of making weight in time proved impossible.
UFC 236 already has an interim title fight at middleweight between Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya. The event was recently confirmed to take place at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA on April 13.