The UFC promotional machine is gearing up for UFC 236 in April, featuring Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier 2 in the main event.
Ahead of UFC 235 on Saturday night, capped by Jon Jones and Anthony Smith, the UFC rolled out the promotion for UFC 236. Taking place on April 13 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, the PPV card boasted two title fights. Unfortunately, both came with the “interim” label attached. Such is reality for the UFC in 2019.
Headlining the event, featherweight champion Max Holloway (20-3) was moving up to lightweight, taking on Dustin Poirier (24–5 (1)) in a rematch of their UFC 143 bout from 2012. The first fight happened at featherweight, and was Holloway’s debut in the UFC. Poirier earned the submission win that night, but a very different Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway exists today. A champion on a 13-fight win streak. Now trying for a second, albeit, interim title. All due to Khabib Nurmagomedov sparking a brawl at UFC 229. Then insisting on sitting out a full year in solidarity with his teammates, despite being eligible for a suspension of just six months.
What a crazy MMA world we live in. Also featured at UFC 236, a more acceptable interim title fight. In the wake of Robert Whittaker’s health scare at UFC 234, which forced him off the card last minute, Israel Adesanya will take on Kelvin Gastelum. At least in the case of middleweight, an interim title fight is understandable. Whittaker (20-4) has fought just once since July 2017. He’s been forced out of fights more than once.
Adesanya (16-0), fresh off a win over the legendary Anderson Silva, takes on Gastelum (15-3, 1NC) in his stead. Gastelum was the man who was supposed to face Whittaker for gold at UFC 234, before the champion’s life-threatening abdominal hernia was diagnosed. As a consolation prize, it could be worse.
Tune in for tonight’s press conference at 6PM ET — you can watch the live stream above!