UFC 236 – Holloway vs. Poirier: Main Card Staff Picks

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Max Holloway, UFC 236 press conference
Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

UFC 236 is headlined by a pair of interim title fights in the lightweight and middleweight divisions and Cageside Press has their picks set.

Staff Writers
Saint Preux vs. Krylov
Jouban vs. Grant
Anders vs. Rountree Jr.
Gastelum vs. Adesanya
Holloway vs. Poirier
Jason Payne (59-18)
Drake Riggs (58-19)
Steve King (53-18)
Heath Harshman (57-20)
Bryson Hester (40-16)
Paarth Pande (54-23)
Mike Straus (54-23)
Joe McDonagh (53-24)
Gabriel Gonzalez (52-25)
Josh Evanoff (51-26)
Jay Anderson (51-26)
Eddie Law (46-25)
Dan Doherty (49-28)
Shawn Bitter (48-29)
Jesse Gillette (44-27)
Alex Scaffidi (39-26)
Adam LeBarr (21-14)
Ryan Fortune (10-8)
Keith Shillan (9-9)
Davidson Baker (0-0)

The main event of UFC 236 features featherweight champion Max Holloway moving up to lightweight to battle Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title while Khabib Nurmagomedov is suspended. “Blessed” is on a 13-fight win streak and has two defenses of his featherweight title. Poirier beat Holloway in 2012 and is 8-1 since moving up to lightweight, coming off a win over former champion Eddie Alvarez. All but two writers believe there will be a third-ever double-champ.

The co-main event pits Kelvin Gastelum against Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title while Robert Whittaker recovers from a hernia. Gastelum was set to fight Whittaker in February for the title after going 4-1 in the middleweight division before Whittaker’s fight night injury. Adesanya is a kickboxing great who is an undefeated 16-0 in his MMA career with wins over Anderson Silva and Derek Brunson. 10 of 16 writers sided with Izzy.

Eryk Anders, a former national champion with Alabama football, takes on Khalil Rountree. Anders is 3-3 in the UFC with a pair of blistering knockouts and is looking to bounce back from a two-fight losing streak. Rountree is also 3-3 in the Octagon with a knockout against kickboxing legend Gokhan Saki. 12 writers believe Anders gets back in the win column.

Alan Jouban and Dwight Grant are set for a great matchup on the main card. Jouban is 7-4 in the Octagon and is coming off a knockout victory over Ben Saunders. Dwight Grant is a Contender Series veteran who knocked out Carlo Pedersoli Jr. at the very end of the first round in his last appearance. All but one writer sided with Jouban.

Ovince Saint Preux and Nikita Krylov meet in a rematch of a 2014 fight to open up the UFC 236 main card. Saint Preux won by his patented Von Flue choke in their first meeting and is 8-7 since then, including an interim title shot. Krylov was a top LHW prospect before a loss to Misha Cirkunov sent him away from the UFC. After a 4-0 stint in Russia, Krylov returned to the Octagon and took a loss to Jan Blachowicz. Krylov was favored by a 9-7 margin.

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Dan Doherty
Danny is a 2017 graduate of Ithaca College's Sport Media program. He has been an avid fan of mixed martial arts since watching the UFC’s 100 Greatest Fights special on Spike TV back in 2009. Shortly following UFC 100, Danny’s Saturdays, and most of his free time, became dedicated to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Most recently, Danny served as the Media Relations and Broadcasting Assistant of the Long Island Ducks baseball team and is looking to make his next step in his broadcasting career. Along with fellow Cageside Press writer Heath Harshman, Danny hosts a weekly MMA podcast, Throwin' Elbows MMA.

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