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411’s UFC 236 Report: Poirier beats Holloway and Adesanya beats Gastelum

April 14, 2019 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC 236

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MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Max Holloway (155 lbs.) vs. #3 Dustin Poirier (154.5 lbs.) – for interim lightweight title
#4 Kelvin Gastelum (184 lbs.) vs. #5 Israel Adesanya (183 lbs.) – for interim middleweight title
Eryk Anders (205 lbs.) vs. Khalil Rountree (206 lbs.)
Dwight Grant (171 lbs.) vs. Alan Jouban (171 lbs.)
Nikita Krylov (205 lbs.) vs. #12 Ovince Saint Preux (206 lbs.)

Matt Frevola (156 lbs.) vs. Jalin Turner (156 lbs.)
#5 Alexandre Pantoja (125.5 lbs.) vs. #4 Wilson Reis (126 lbs.)
Max Griffin (170.5 lbs.) vs. Zelim Imadaev (171 lbs.)
Boston Salmon (135.5 lbs.) vs. Khalid Taha (136 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)
Curtis Millender (170.5 lbs.) vs. Belal Muhammad (171 lbs.)
Montel Jackson (136 lbs.) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (136 lbs.)
Poliana Botelho (125 lbs.) vs. Lauren Mueller (126 lbs.)
Randy Costa (135 lbs.) vs. Brandon Davis (136 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 236. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. Tonight the UFC brings not one but two interim title fights at the top of the card. First up Kelvin Gastelum battles Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title, then in the main event UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway moves up to lightweight for the first time in his UFC career to battle Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title. Beyond those two fights what you might be looking forward to is on the slim side, there’s two light heavyweight fights on the main card with Eryk Anders vs. Khalil Rountree and a rematch between Nikita Krylov and Ovince Saint Preux. On the prelims the pickings are pretty slim, but for the discerning fan Jalin Turner vs. Matt Frevola could be fun and there’s definitely potential between Max Griffin and Zelim Imadaev.

UFC 236 comes to the world from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. As for the rules we are under the new rules, so you need both palms or fists flat on the mat to be considered downed (or a knee of course), extending fingers towards your opponent is a foul regardless of contact being made, and the language around scoring is clearer and more encouraging of 10-8’s. We’ll also have the use of instant replay, but once replay has been invoked the fight cannot be restarted.

Brandon Davis has gone 1-3 in the UFC and has lost his last two fights in the promotion, now he’s looking to snap that streak and keep his job as the dreaded three fight skid could easily spell the end of his time with the UFC and is hoping that dropping down to bantamweight will facilitate that. Randy Costa is undefeated and making his UFC debut here, he’s trying to make the most of the opportunity as you only get one chance to make a first impression. The odds lean towards Davis at -170 to a +145 comeback on Costa.

Bantamweight Bout: Randy Costa (4-0, 135 lbs.) vs. Brandon Davis (9-5, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Davis is an inch taller while Costa has an inch of reach on him. They touch gloves to get things going. Costa wobbles Davis with a right and Davis eggs him on closer. A few leg kicks from Davis trying to keep distance. They clinch up, Davis lands a knee to the body then gets Costa into the cage. Costa defends the single leg attempt and they separate. Bit of a leg kick from Costa then a right hand that freezes Davis for a second. Left hook from Costa but Davis walks through it into the clinch. Davis gets Costa on the cage and they start fighting for position. Costa lands a couple of punches on the break then an uppercut to the body. Davis lands a straight right. Costa’s style seems like he’s just used to getting his opponent out of there with a singular strike and Davis is just eating them. Another right from Costa then they trade lefts. Left from Costa lands flush but again Davis sticks in there and lands a couple of leg kicks. Costa lands a series of jabs then a right but Davis remains upright. High kick from Costa and a knee but again Davis just calls him on. Body kick from Costa, Davis lands a couple of jabs. There’s something up with the left leg of Costa, he’s unsteady on it. They clinch up and Davis lands an elbow on the break. Costa misses a high kick as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Costa

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Jab and a right from Costa stuns Davis and he’s looking to swarm along the fence but Davis clinches up and buys himself time to recover. Costa pulls free and they trade some jabs. Davis lands a hard knee to the body, they’re trading recklessly and Costa is after a takedown but Davis sprawls free and spins to the back. Choke from Davis, doesn’t really get the hooks in but Costa can’t hand fight and then taps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Brandon Davis via Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:12 of Round 2

Moderately engaging but sloppy from both guys. Mic time for Davis, he says he wasn’t sure he could make bantamweight but the UFC PI got him here and notes that he weights 160 pounds right now. He puts over Costa and mentions that his legs definitely felt the power, then says he wants a fight with Sean O’Malley next. He talks us through the finish to close his interview.

Lauren Mueller is coming off of her first loss but has gone 1-1 in the UFC, she’s trying to bounce back from that loss and avoid her first ever losing streak. Poliana Botelho has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is also coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid her first losing streak. Botelho is your -155 favorite to +135 for Mueller.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Poliana Botelho (7-2, 125 lbs.) vs. Lauren Mueller (5-1, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Botelho is three inches taller but the reach is identical. They touch gloves to get us going. Mueller is coming forward, Botelho lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Botelho and she’s circling. Mueller lands a body kick. Mueller lands a counter right, Botelho’s hand position is pretty bad but she lands a really heavy left body kick that hurts Mueller badly. Botelho forces a clinch after that kick and they hit the fence. Knees from Botelho then she gets a body lock takedown into half guard. Mueller is looking more to stall things out, she starts getting her hips moving after eating some body shots and gets full guard. Botelho looking to pass again, she moves into half guard and lands a few elbows. Mueller looking to sit up and sweep, Botelho lands elbows to the body and stalls out the motion of Mueller. Meuller back up, they trade knees to the body and remain in the clinch. Botelho spins Mueller into the fence and lands a few more knees. Foot stomps from Botelho, she’s remaining very acting in the clinch and is constantly landing offense on Mueller. A few short elbows from Botelho close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Botelho

ROUND TWO: Botelho opens southpaw, goes orthodox and lands a leg kick but eats a combination of punches. Botelho lands another leg kick. Mueller needs to force this into boxing range, at kick boxing range Botelho is chewing her up with kicks to the body and leg. Mueller lands a couple of punches and they clinch. Botelho winds up on the fence, they trade some knees while jockeying for position. Botelho spins Mueller to the fence and resumes landing knees to the body and thigh. Mueller spins Botelho and looks for a headlock throw but can’t get it and they start jockeying for position along the fence. They trade elbows and break apart then Botelho gets a double leg into guard. Mueller is looking for an elevator sweep with butterfly guard but Botelho is pressing through that. Mueller scoots to the fence and looks to wall walk, she’s up and they’re still clinched. Botelho winds up on the fence, Mueller lands an elbow and a few knees but Botelho spins her into the cage. The ref breaks them up after they stalled out a bit. Spinning back kick from Botelho lands, Mueller lands a right. Mueller lands a body kick then a right. Botelho might be gassing, she’s not moving much anymore. They trade some punches in the pocket as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Botelho, 20-18 Botelho overall

ROUND THREE: Mueller coming out jabbing, Botelho lands a leg kick. Bit of a right from Mueller, she’s pressing the action. Botelho lands a leg kick but she’s doing a lot of backing up. Botelho misses a wheel kick, eats a couple of punches and they clinch up again. Botelho gets Mueller on the fence in the clinch. Mueller is able to spin Botelho but can’t get free from the body lock of Botelho. They jockey for position along the fence, trade some knees along the way, but the ref could break this and does. Mueller back to forward pressure. Botelho shoots a double leg, settles for a clinch on the fence. They trade some offense but not much of value and the ref separates them again. Inside leg kick from Botelho but Mueller lands a counter combination and a knee to the body. Botelho is trying to run clock and Mueller is clobbering her now with punches and knees. Mueller off balances Botelho blocking a kick and follows her down into the guard. Botelho’s corner just breathed a sigh of relief as Botelho is able to close her guard and stall things out. Mueller working to posture, moves to half guard with some elbows but wont get the finish she needed.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mueller, 29-28 Botelho overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Polianan Botelho via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

The crowd boos a bit, Mueller closed strong but the decision was correct. No interview for Botelho.

Montel Jackson has gone 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a win over Brian Kelleher, now he’s looking to get his first UFC winning streak up and running. Andre Soukhamthath has gone 2-3 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a win and looking to get both his first UFC winning streak and his UFC record to the .500 mark. Jackson is a massive -600 favorite against +425 for Soukhamthath.

Bantamweight Bout: Montel Jackson (7-1, 136 lbs.) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (13-6, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jackson is an inch taller and has a whopping five and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Jackson, and they touch gloves to get things going. Soukhamthath lands a couple of leg kicks while circling. Jackson lands a bit of a left to counter a body kick. Front kick to the body from Jackson, and a jab behind it. They trade rights then inside leg kicks. Soukhamthath catches a front kick and lands a leg kick. Soukhamthath misses a blitz attack. Both men block some body kicks, they’re still trying to find openings in each other. Soukhamthath lands a right and a knee to the body. Jackson lands a left that definitely rattled Soukhamthath for a second and then gets a clinch on the fence. Elevated single leg from Jackson is successful and he’s on top in half guard. Soukhamthath is looking to wall walk, he’s back up but they’re still clinched. Another takedown from Jackson, this time a body lock into side control. That position is where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jackson

ROUND TWO: Soukhamthath lands a right to the body, Jackson is looking to counter so far. Jackson lands a bit of a left. Right to the body from Soukhamthath but he eats a counter knee to the body. Jackson avoids a high kick. They trade body kicks then leg kicks. Jackson avoids some punches and they clinch up then trade knees. Soukhamthath winds up on the fence, Jackson lands a left as they break. Both men fall a little short with power hand punches then Jackson lands a jab. They clinch, Jackson with a foot sweep that off balances Soukhamthath and Jackson tees off on him along the fence. Soukhamthath is backing up and Jackson gets him on the fence and lands more punches but Soukhamthath wont go away and they clinch again. Knees from Jackson to the body as he’s fighting for wrist control in close quarters. Jackson gets an outside trip and lands in the guard of Soukhamthath. There’s some blood or redness in the right eye of Soukhamthath from the lefts of Jackson. Soukhamthath is trying to wall walk but Jackson hand cuffs one of his hands and lands a few rights to the head as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jackson, 20-18 Jackson overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round, and Soukhamthath lands an inside leg kick. Jackson lands a couple of short lefts but Soukhamthath is coming forward much more this round. Soukhamthath takes a shot to the groin trying to kick and we’ve got time for him to recover. Replay confirms that one, it was the knee of Jackson when he threw a kick that caught Soukhamthath in the crotch when Soukhamthath was kicking. Soukhamthath is able to get up after a moment or two is good to continue. They trade punches and Soukhamthath gets a takedown but Jackson hits an elevated sweep into full mount. Correction, quarter guard is there for Soukhamthath and Jackson is hitting him. Soukhamthath is able to get half guard, Jackson is landing body shots and looking to set up another pass to 3/4 mount. More punches including an uppercut from Jackson and he’s getting wrist control to handcuff Soukhamthath behind his back. Jackson switches to a kimura attack, lands body shots until Soukhamthath gets his arm back but those made my ribs hurt. Soukhamthath gets full guard but his right arm is still trapped behind his back and that’s letting Jackson land lefts to the body and head while Soukhamthath fights to get his wrist back. Jackson bails on the handcuff position, I’m surprised by his lack of passing attempts frankly. A few rights land for Jackson, Soukhamthath tries some elbows but they’re not finding the target. Soukhamthath gets his arm back and tries for an armbar, switches to a triangle attempt but Jackson slams free and moves to side control then lands short elbows. A few knees and elbows from Jackson will run the clock down.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Jackson, I feel he won it by a wide enough margin this time, 30-26 Jackson overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Montel Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-27)

I have no idea which round Soukhamthath could have won, that seems like more of a math or positional error from the judges than anything that Soukhamthath actually did. No interview for Jackson as we’re pushing the timing at the moment.

Curtis Millender just had a long nine fight winning streak that included three wins in the UFC snapped when he lost to rising contender Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Millender is trying to rebound from that set back and avoid his first UFC losing streak. Belal Muhammad just had a four fight winning streak snapped by Geoff Neal, now he’s trying to bounce back and avoid his first ever losing streak. Muhammad is a slight -160 favorite while the +140 comeback on Millender is a tempting value bet.

Welterweight Bout: Curtis Millender (17-4, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Belal Muhammad (14-3, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Millender is three inches taller and has four inches of reach on Muhammad. Both men showing the lead hand early, and Millender misses a high kick. Bit of a left hook from Millender, Muhammad trying leg kicks but isn’t finding much yet. Millender lands a leg kick then has a high kick blocked. Another leg kick from Millender. Muhammad lands a bit of a right but he doesn’t have the range just yet. Millender lands a right as Muhammad tries to close distance, then a calf kick from Millender. Another leg kick from Millender then a right and Muhammad is bleeding around the left eyelid. Muhammad lands a left hook, that’s been his best offensive option so far. Muhammad lands a couple of jabs but can’t find the follow up offense. Left hook from Muhammad lands, Millender lands a right. They clinch up and Muhammad has Millender on the cage. A few knees go back and forth but neither man can find much of an advantage here. Muhammad tries for a single leg, Millender defends and remains upright. They break and Muhammad complains of an eye poke and gets a moment to recover. Millender lands a right on the restart. Jabs from Millender are landing now then a right that stuns Muhammad for a second. Millender lands a body kick as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Millender

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Millender jabbing and circling, now a few stop kicks to the knee of Muhammad. Muhammad bulls into the clinch and gets Millender on the fence. Muhammad looks for a single leg but can’t get it and they separate. Leaping left hook from Muhammad lands, Millender kicks his knee in response. Both men land rights, Millender might be slowing down a bit. Muhammad lands the left hook again. Double leg from Muhammad, he gets Millender away from the cage and gets him down into half guard. Millender is still kind of out of sorts on the ground, he’s staying too flat. Muhammad lands a couple of hammer fists. Millender is able to get to full guard, Muhammad lands a couple of lefts for that. The round will end in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Muhammad, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Muhammad starts the third round with a jab, Millender responds with a couple of leg kicks. Millender lands a right, Muhammad tries a takedown but Millender blocks it and lands a knee. Muhammad lands a right and a left hook. More punches from Muhammad and he gets another double leg into half guard. Millender looks done, he’s just holding on right now. Muhammad is working a pretty consistent pace of ground and pound while Millender continues to look nearly lost on the ground. Muhammad passes to full mount off of a bad explosion attempt from Millender. A few punches from Muhammad but Millender hip escapes to half guard. That’s still a loose guard from Millender and Muhammad is threatening a knee slice or a smash pass, that threat of the mount lets him move to side control as Millender tried to move his hips. Muhammad moves to full mount again and lands a few elbows. Millender tries to buck but gives up his back and Muhammad gets both hooks in. Muhammad loses one hook, lands more punches and keeps Millender on his knees. Millender scrambles a bit and gets up but time ends right there.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Muhammad, 29-27 Muhammad overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Belal Muhammad via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27 x2)

Not sure about Muhammad winning the first, but he definitely won the fight. No interview for Muhammad as we’re already over time.

That will wrap up Fight Pass for the evening, on to ESPN to wrap up the prelims.

Boston Salmon is making his UFC debut here on the back of a win on the Dana White’s Contender Series, he’s trying to make the most of the opportunity to make a good first impression to the UFC audience. Khalid Taha lost his UFC debut last year but is trying to rebound from that setback and score his first UFC win here. Salmon is a -155 favorite against a +135 comeback on Taha.

Bantamweight Bout: Boston Salmon (6-1, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Khalid Taha (12-2, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Salmon is four inches taller but the reach is identical. Southpaw for Salmon, and they touch gloves at the start of the first. Taha showing a lot of looks, then floors Salmon with a right hook then a follow up left hook and a few more blows on the mat prompt the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Khalid Taha via TKO, punches, at :25 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Taha for his work this evening. Mic time for Taha after that quick finish, he says he feels great and prepared a lot for this fight. He talks us through the finish, mentions again how hard he prepared for this fight and is happy to show everyone the real Khalid Taha. He dedicates the win to his brother who couldn’t be here for this fight but hopes he’ll be in his corner for his next fight.

Here’s the finish. The important thing from Taha, in addition to just having a nice left hook, is that his feet keep moving. When he falls just a hair short with the right hand he doesn’t stand flat throwing the left but instead moves forward with it so he is sure the punch will land where he wants it to.

Max Griffin has gone 2-4 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, that said his last loss was a controversial split decision, he’s trying to rebound from that and get back on the winning side of things tonight. Zelim Imadaev is undefeated and has finished all of his opponents, he’s making his UFC debut here and hoping to remain perfect and make the most of this opportunity. Imadaev is a slight -120 favorite against +100 for Griffin.

Welterweight Bout: Max Griffin (14-6, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Zelim Imadaev (8-0, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Imadaev is an inch taller while the reach is identical. Griffin comes out with a one two that’s partially blocked. Imadaev lands a leg kick but Griffin gets a takedown along the fence. Imadaev grabbing the fence trying to stand up, the ref stops the action and takes a point for the fence grab. The restart on the feet. Griffin lands a couple of jabs, Imadaev lands a left. They get close and Griffin forces a clinch along the fence and gets a body lock takedown into half guard. Imadaev looking to wall walk, Griffin moves to the ride position and tries for the choke without hooks. Griffin might be switching to a neck crank but he can’t get his hands together reliably. Imadaev looking to wall walk, Griffin still after the neck but can’t get it. Imadaev back up, Griffin breaks away from the clinch. Calf kick from Imadaev. Spinning elbow from Imadaev then a wheel kick that’s partially blocked. Griffin avoids a spinning elbow and gets another clinch against the fence. Imadaev reverses position this time and starts throwing some knees. Both men with some knees now but Griffin is still against the fence so far. Knees go back and forth again then Imadaev lands a bit of a right on the break. A calf kick from Imadaev will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Griffin after the point deduction

ROUND TWO: Griffin lands a right to get the second round going, Imadaev lands a front kick to the body. Griffin reads a very telegraphed wheel kick and gets a takedown, he winds up holding a rear waist lock as they hit the fence on their feet. Imadaev pushes Griffin into the fence now and they trade some knees. Bit of a left from Imadaev on the break then a jab. Griffin tries a double leg, Imadaev granby rolls out of it and remains upright. Imadaev lands a right uppercut. Leg kick from Imadaev then they both miss rights. Cardio is all but gone for both men right now. Griffin falls into a double leg, Imadaev wall walks quickly this time and gets Griffin on the cage. Griffin avoids a spinning elbow but is still in the clinch. They trade more knees while jockeying for position then break without incident. Imadeav tries a tornado kick, bad idea, and Griffin gets him down then they wind up clinched on the cage again. Knees from Imadeav as he gets Griffin on the cage then they break. Jabs from Imadaev then a right that wobbles Griffin for a second. Another spinning attack from Imadaev is avoided and they clinch again. Knees from Imadaev and a short elbow then a right. They break without issue, Griffin falls for another clinch and Imadaev lands knees then a right hand. More uppercuts from Imadaev as they break. Left from Imadaev then a body kick and spinning elbow that finally lands as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Imadaev, 19-18 Griffin overall

ROUND THREE: Imadaev lands a jab and starts coming forward. Technique is going out the wind for both men, they’ve fatigued themselves pretty heavily. They trade leg kicks, Imadaev lands a left hook then a right and Griffin is circling away. Left hook from Imadaev lands and they clinch up then Imadaev lands blows and a knee before they break. Imadaev lands a right, then a couple of follow ups and Griffin is on the fence. They break a clinch and trade rights. Another right from Imadaev then a left behind it. Knee to the body from Imadaev, Griffin tries a takedown but Imadaev is back up immediately and he’s got Griffin on the fence in the clinch. Imadaev looking for a double leg now, he can’t get it though and Griffin lands a couple of knees to the body after defending that. They spin a few times in the clinch and trade knees then break. They trade rights, Imadaev wobbles Griffin with a final flurry before time runs out.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Imadaev, 28-28 DRAW overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Max Griffin via majority decision (28-28, 29-27 x2)

I disagree but don’t think it’s wrong to give Griffin the third. Griffin gets an interview, he puts over Imadaev as a tough guy who the UFC is high on. He says he planned on wrestling but not as much as he did in the fight, and mentions that Imadaev got too predictable with his spins. Asked about the decision he says he’s usually nervous when they read scorecards after his last fight and asks to be on Joe Rogan’s podcast at some point.

Wilson Reis just broke a three fight losing streak by defeating Ben Nguyen, with the future of the flyweight division very much looking bleak he needs a win here just to keep his spot with the UFC. Alexandre Pantoja has gone 4-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, he likewise almost certainly needs a win to maintain his spot on the roster going forward. Pantoja is your -160 favorite against a +140 payout for Reis.

Flyweight Bout: #5 Alexandre Pantoja (20-3, 125.5 lbs.) vs. #4 Wilson Reis (23-9, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pantoja is an inch taller and has two and a half inches of reach on Reis. They touch gloves, Reis fighting southpaw. Pantoja lands a right hook to counter a kick attempt from Reis. Body kick from Pantoja. Pantoja lands a front kick to the body, he’s doing a good job of keeping Reis at distance. Reis lands a bit of a left and bulls for a takedown that stalls out on the fence. Reis has a body lock and is looking to get this to the mat but Pantoja isn’t letting him secure anything. There’s a body lock takedown but Pantoja moves to the fence and wall walks then separates. Pantoja is really flat, and as I type that he lands a straight right that floors Reis and Pantoja keeps up the offense on the mat and that prompts the stoppage from the ref.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alexandre Pantoja via TKO, punches, at 2:58 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Pantoja for his work this evening. That’s a solid win for Pantoja and would put him near the title picture if flyweight were sticking around. Pantoja on the mic now, he says he’s happy with the win and puts over Reis as an opponent but he found his timing and capitalized. He thanks his family back in Brazil and says he misses them and wishes them love. He puts over his coaches and training partners, most of them by name, then says he’s ready for everyone.

Here’s the finish. Pantoja seems to have a read on the distance, he hits a really quick switch/stutter step to close distance and lands a solid straight right to the chin of Reis that leads to the finish.

Jalin Turner has gone 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a rather quick win in his last fight, he’s trying to build on that momentum and get his first UFC winning streak up and running. Matt Frevola has gone 0-1-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a draw with Lando Vannata and really needs to get his first win in the UFC here. The odds are with Turner at -140 against +120 for Frevola.

Lightweight Bout: Matt Frevola (6-1-1, 156 lbs.) vs. Jalin Turner (8-4, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Turner has a whopping six inches of height and reach on Frevola. They touch gloves, Turner comes out southpaw. Frevola coming forward, runs into a knee to the body that gets him backing off. As Turner comes forward Frevola gets a takedown into side control and moves to the back, looks for the choke and to get both hooks in. Both hooks in now for Frevola and he lands a couple of punches, he’s riding well and looking for the choke. Turner gets to the fence and is working towards his feet while Frevola keeps his back. Turner to a knee, and shakes Frevola over the top and they wind up separated on the feet. Turner lands a right hook in close and then avoids a takedown attempt from Frevola. Frevola is circling now, he seems more hesitant to engage now. A couple of leg kicks from Frevola but Turner lands a right to counter them and he’s a little wobbled. Frevola gets a takedown but Turner threatens with a guillotine, Frevola gets free and moves to side control. Turner gets a reversal but Frevola has a guillotine now and rolls to mount with it, but the arm is in. Frevola can’t adjust the grip to get the finish and Turner gets free then bridges off of the fence to get on top and lands some punches while getting free. Turner doing some stance switching now, he’s backing Frevola to the fence and jabs him a few times, that gets the nose of Frevola bleeding. They both land punches in close as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Frevola

ROUND TWO: Turner avoids a jumping kick as the second round starts. Turner avoids a hook and lands a straight left. Frevola misses a few punches and tries a double leg but Turner is defending along the fence and gets free. Turner avoids a punch then eats a body kick. Another takedown attempt from Frevola, Turner defends again as Frevola went too straight with the attempt. Bit of a left from Turner to counter an inside leg kick. Both men land in close quarters. They split some jabs, Turner’s output has waned considerably. Turner sprawls away from a double leg attempt and lands a right. Left to the body then a right form Turner all land. Frevola avoids a spinning kick without much difficulty. Turner lands a knee as Frevola went for a takedown, that rattled him and it lets Turner use a guillotine threat to stifle the takedown attempt. The wind up with Turner in the sprawl position while Frevola looks for a single leg from his knees. Frevola sticks with that attempt and is able to get it into half guard. Frevola goes for another guillotine but loses it and Turner throws some offense but eats an illegal up kick and we’ve got time out. Replay shows that one, he took the heel full near the eye while on his knees did Turner. The ref is in to double check the eye of Turner, he says Turner can continue. The ref doesn’t take a point, the restart and the round ends. I might have taken the point personally.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Turner but a close round, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Bit of a straight right from Frevola lands. Turner is pushing forward but again his offense isn’t quite there. Left lands for Turner. Frevola gets a double leg into the guard of Turner but Turner throws up a triangle choke attempt, nearly gets a sweep but instead Frevola gets to half guard. Side control now for Frevola and he’s trying to set up a double wrist lock. Frevola is moving towards north-south, Turner is able to scramble back up and lands a hard knee to Frevola as they break. Front kicks to the body from Turner land. Spinning back kick to the body from Turner land, then a bit of a jumping knee. Frevola lands a hard right, Turner lands a left to the body. Turner lands a right. Frevola lands a body kick, and tries one more double leg as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Turner, 29-28 Turner overall but probably went to Frevola

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Matt Frevola via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

I’m not going to stand by my scoring there, I’ll need to watch it again later. Mic time for Frevola, who notes that Turner is the tallest guy he’s fought and that he did what he needed to do to win so he’ll take it. He says he should have had the finish in the first round and will adjust going forward. He notes that Turner switching his stance threw him off a bit and promises to keep growing going forward.

That will wrap up preliminary action, on to PPV for the main card. This is the first UFC PPV event that’s exclusively available in the USA exclusively through ESPN+ and they’ve devoted plenty of time on the card to telling you how to buy through that service.

The dedicate the PPV to a member of TUF 1 who passed away this week.

Ovince Saint Preux has gone just 1-2 in his last three fights and is coming off of a loss to Dominick Reyes, he’s trying to avoid another losing streak in the UFC and defend his official ranking. Nikita Krylov previously lost to Saint Preux back in 2014 and now looks to avoid his first UFC losing streak while avenging that prior loss. The odds are with Krylov at -135 while the +115 comeback on Saint Preux has to be a tempting value bet.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Nikita Krylov (24-6, 205 lbs.) vs. #12 Ovince Saint Preux (23-12, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Saint Preux is half an inch taller and has two and a half inches of reach on Krylov. They touch gloves, Saint Preux fighting his usual southpaw. Krylov lands a body kick then a leg kick and a straight right. A right from Krylov gets Saint Preux off balance but Saint Preux avoids him closing distance. Saint Preux gets a double leg, Saint Preux looking to wall walk but Saint Preux keeps wrapping up the legs. Krylov is up now, looking for a front headlock to deter the takedown from Saint Preux. Saint Preux switches to a single leg, Krylov hits the mat and bounces back up though they’re still clinched. Krylov keeps looking for a front choke of some kind, he’s got Saint Preux against the fence now and that will force Saint Preux to bail on his hips and settle into a chest to chest position. Saint Preux gets an outside trip, Krylov back up again without much issue though he can’t get free of the clinch. Krylov tries for a body lock takedown but Saint Preux reverses and gets on top in the guard of Krylov. A few elbows from Krylov and Saint Preux passes to half guard. Full mount now for Saint Preux and he lands an elbow. Krylov is able to buck and get up then separate this time and lands some knees. A right from Krylov lands and they break apart. Saint Preux is breathing heavy already, Krylov is still light on his feet. Body kicks from Krylov land as he’s walking Saint Preux around the cage. They clinch up again, Krylov gets Saint Preux on the cage this time and works some knees to the thigh. Krylov misses a high kick as they break and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Saint Preux

ROUND TWO: Krylov is still bouncing around, Saint Preux looks tired but he’s always had weird stances and foot work. Body kick from Krylov opens up the round. Glancing head kick then a body kick from Krylov, and a right and that gets Saint Preux to clinch up. Knees from Krylov, Saint Preux looks for a single leg and Krylov lands elbows to the head while defending. Krylov gets a double leg now and is on top in full mount. Saint Preux gives up his back, both hooks in for Krylov but he’s a little high on the back. Krylov is trying to set for the choke but Saint Preux is defending so far. Choke attempt from Krylov, he’s not quite under the chin but he’s arching his back to get Saint Preux to turn his head up and as he yanks back he finally gets under the chin and that forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nikita Krylov via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:30 of Round 2

Much needed with for Krylov there, it’s his first UFC win since beating Ed Herman in 2016. No interview though, not sure why but if I had to guess it’s a translator issue.

Here’s the finish. Krylov doesn’t get under the chin initially so look at what he does to compensate, he flattens things out and forces a bow in the back of Saint Preux as he also pulls back on his head, the overall motion forcing the head up and exposing the neck. From there it’s just a slight adjustment of the arm position to force the submission.

Alan Jouban just broke a two fight losing streak by stopping Ben Saunders, now he’s after his first winning streak since 2016 and hoping to begin climbing the welterweight ranks again. Dwight Grant has gone 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a win and looking to get his first official UFC winning streak going. The odds lean towards Grant at -120 against an even +100 for Jouban.

Welterweight Bout: Dwight Grant (9-2, 171 lbs.) vs. Alan Jouban (16-6, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Grant is an inch taller and has two and a half inches of reach on Jouban. They touch gloves to get us going, Jouban fighting southpaw. Both men circling so far, and probing a bit with the lead hand. Jouban pushes into a clinch, gets a body lock takedown but can’t secure it and they wind up separating on the feet. Grant lands a bit of a right and a looping left hook. Both men still feinting a bit, looking for a read on the other. Body kick from Jouban lands. Grant falls a little short with a looping right. They get close and trade hooks, Jouban got the worst of that exchange and takes a moment to recompose himself. Jouban lands an inside leg kick. Grant lands a glancing left hook. Grant avoids a rush, Jouban lands a left as Grant was leaning away and that got his attention. Inside leg kick from Grant lands. They both miss offense, bit of a right from Grant will close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Grant but could go either way

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Grant lands a leg kick but he’s doing a lot of backing up. Grant lands a loopy right that wobbles Jouban but he can’t connect on any follow ups. The punching technique of Grant is really awkward, he’s looping everything and the punches are rather obvious in terms of wind up. Jouban lands a straight left. Grant is moving well, and Jouban isn’t trying to cut him off almost at all but instead is following. A couple of leg kicks from Grant land. Jouban avoids a left to the body. Both men miss lead hand hooks then trade inside leg kicks. Bit of a right lands for Grant. They both miss hooks. Jouban has a head kick blocked. They clinch up and hit the fence, then break without incident. Jouban avoids a couple of wide hooks. They trade leg kicks, then both miss punches. An inside leg kick from Jouban will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Grant but another close round, 20-18 Grant overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Jouban checks an inside leg kick. Bit of a left uppercut from Grant. Both men evade some punches. Right then a left uppercut from Grant mostly land. Jouban blocks a high kick. Again Grant finds that lead hand uppercut but can’t really follow up. Grant takes a shot to the groin and we’ve got time for him to recover. It was accidental, Jouban was trying more of a knee and his foot went into the groin, but that landed flush to the groin. Grant is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Leg kick from Grant, Jouban then misses a high kick. Jouban is trying to up the output but he’s still mindful of the power coming back his way. Bit of a right from Jouban lands. Jouban lands a leg kick. Grant lands a leg kick. There’s a glancing left hook from Grant. Jouban misses a wheel kick and then they both miss lead hand hooks. Grant lands a left to the body and avoids a takedown but Jouban spins to his back and gets it with both hooks in, moves to half guard in the scramble and lands some punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jouban, 29-28 Grant overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dwight Grant via split decision (27-30, 29-28 x2)

Jouban is pissed, but you don’t get to be that upset after that kind of fight either way. No interview for Grant.

Eryk Anders has had a rough stretch lately, going 1-3 in his last four fights though two of those losses were somewhat controversial split decisions. Anders is returning to light heavyweight here and trying to breathe life back into his career with that move. Khalil Rountree just had a fair bit of momentum derailed when he was violently knocked out by Johnny Walker, now he’s trying to avoid his second UFC losing streak and start building positive momentum again. Anders is your -190 favorite against +160 for Rountree.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Eryk Anders (11-3, 205 lbs.) vs. Khalil Rountree (7-3 1 NC, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Rountree has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Both guys are southpaws, and we get a touch of gloves to start things off. Rountree misses an inside leg kick. Inside let kick from Rountree lands, then one to the outside of the thigh. Another inside leg kick from Rountree, Anders lands a bit of a counter left. Anders avoids a couple of hooks. More inside leg kicks from Rountree, Anders seems befuddled by this strategy from Rountree. Anders misses a counter left after taking an inside leg kick. The inside of Anders’ lead leg is a mess already, he needs to address that kick somehow. A couple more inside leg kicks from Rountree land. Anders catches a kick and tries a spinning elbow that’s blocked. Another series of inside leg kicks from Rountree land. Rountree avoids a straight left as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Rountree as I’m not sure Anders landed a relevant strike all round

ROUND TWO: Double jab into a left from Rountree land and Anders is down and Rountree throws chopping leg kicks as Anders is on his hip against the fence. Rountree tries a couple of hammer fists then decides to make Anders stand back up. Anders lands a left to the body but eats a right then a left that drops him again. Anders is on his back but Rountree makes him stand back up then avoids a takedown attempt. Rountree has a couple of punches blocked then digs to the body wit ha right then a knee to the body. Anders doesn’t seem to have an idea about how to adjust and attack this style from Rountree. Rountree lands a straight left. Anders lands to the body but eats a counter combination that drops him for a third time this round. Rountree stands over him, thinks about going down into his guard but then makes him stand again. Another body kick from Rountree lands flush, Anders just doesn’t have meaningful offense right now. A right hook from Rountree drops Anders again but Anders is still conscious and trying to fight so as Rountree stands over him the ref is allowing this to continue. Rountree makes him stand back up again. Rountree has some punches blocked as the last moments of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Rountree, arguable 10-7 after that many knockdowns, 20-16 Rountree overall

ROUND THREE: Frankly the corner of Anders’ should have considered stopping that between rounds. The doctor is in to double check on Anders between rounds, he’s OK with Anders continuing. Rountree lands an inside leg kick and eats a bit of a counter left. Rountree lands a couple of leg kicks after eating a left. Anders blocks a couple of punches but can’t mount any counter game. Inside leg kick from Rountree lands. Bit of a one two from Rountree lands, Anders tries a counter right hook that’s partially blocked. A couple of jabs land for Rountree. Rountree lands another inside leg kick then an outside one, that lead leg of Anders is hamburger meat at this point. Another inside leg kick from Rountree, Anders fires back but his offense is blocked. Rountree rattles off a combination that’s mostly successful. Left uppercut lands for Anders, Rountree digs the body with his right and lands a left. Another left lands for Rountree then a leg kick. Rountree blocks a couple of high kicks as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rountree, 30-25 Rountree overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Khalil Rountree via unanimous decision (30-26 x3)

I maintain that only giving Rountree a 10-9 in the first ignores the numerical disparity and parts of the new scoring criteria about the margins for winning a round. Mic time for Rountree, and my internet has an issue. Great, I missed a chunk of his interview. My feed picks back up with him saying that he was surprised at how durable Anders was because he knows how hard the kicks he landed were. That wraps the interview, so my apologies I missed a bit of that.

Here’s one of the FOUR knockdowns from the second round.

We get the announcement of our next Hall of Fame inductee, it will be former UFC middleweight champion Rich “Ace” Franklin going into the pioneer wing. Well deserved, the man had a great career and was one of the first guys who could break the perceived mold of what MMA fighters were.

Kelvin Gastelum was to fight for the middleweight title earlier this year but that fell through at the last minute due to medical issues with champion Robert Whittaker. Now Gastelum finds himself in an interim title fight, he’s won his last two fights and this is his first shot at UFC gold, a win would confirm a later date with the champion. Israel Adesanya is undefeated, this fight will mark his sixth UFC bout in about 14 months. This fight also marks the first UFC title shot for Adesanya and he’s looking to capitalize on the substantial hype that’s built around him and secure a shot at the real title in the future. Adesanya is a slight -150 favorite against +130 for Gastelum.

Middleweight interim Title Bout: #4 Kelvin Gastelum (15-3 1 NC, 184 lbs.) vs. #5 Israel Adesanya (16-0, 183 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Adesanya is seven inches taller and has a whopping eight and a half inches of reach on Gastelum. Gastelum fights southpaw, Adesanya does a fair bit of stance switching. Adesanya showing kicks early, just getting a read on the reactions of Gastelum. Body kick from Adesanya lands. Gastelum is bouncing, looking to close distance. They trade leg kicks. Body kick from Adesanya lands flush and he avoids a left from Gastelum. Gastelum still coming forward looking to pressure Adesanya. Bit of a body kick from Gastelum lands. Adesanya avoids a left from Gastelum. Now Gastelum is backing up, baits Adesanya forward and they trade lefts but Adesanya got the worst of that and has to back away after getting off balanced. They trade lefts, Gastelum is swinging for the fences. Adesanya avoids a series of punches and lands a right then a leg kick. Gastelum misses another left. Adesanya lands a left, Gastelum just eats it. Gastelum avoids a one two. Bit of a right from Gastelum will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gastelum

ROUND TWO: Bit of a body kick from Adesanya lands to start the second, then another one behind it. Left hook from Adesanya lands then a body kick that definitely got Gastelum’s attention. Gastelum swings a left to the body. Adesanya lands a right to the body, Gastelum lands a jab. Another body kick from Adesanya then a high kick that’s blocked. Gastelum lands a jab but Adesnaya is getting a read on him at this point. Inside leg kick from Adesanya lands. Both men evade power hand punches along the fence, some nice head movement from both men. Adesanya lands another inside leg kick and knocks Gastelum down with a right but Gastelum fights back to his feet. Another inside leg kick from Adesanya. Adesanya lands a couple of rights, Gastelum misses a left and eats a pull back counter right. Another inside leg kick then a right from Adesanya. Spinning elbow from Adesanya drops Gastelum to a knee for a second. Adesanya lands another inside leg kick then tries a high kick. Gastelum lands a left but Adesanya just eats it. Double leg attempt from Gastelum is stuffed by Adesanya. Adesanya avoids a jab as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Adesanya, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Adesanya showing the jab this round, Gastelum lands a body kick. Hard inside leg kick from Adesanya lands. Gastelum is circling looking for an angle. Adesanya lands a right, Gastelum lands a left to the body. Adesanya grabs a Thai clinch and lands a knee, Gastelum lands a jab on the break though. Body kick from Adesanya lands. Gastelum blocks a high kick. Adesanya goes back to the inside leg kick, Gastelum’s movement has been a bit hampered by those kicks. They trade punches in a brief pocket exchange, Gastelum is coming forward now looking to maintain some motion instead of being stationary. Adesanya lands a straight right. Gastelum misses a left and Adesanya cracks him with a right then a knee to the body. One two from Adesanya lands. More body kicks and an inside leg kick from Adesanya as he’s making Gastelum miss with his punches. Bit of a left from Gastelum lands in close. Double leg from Gastelum lands, Adesanya moves to the fence quickly and is up then free at distance. Right to the body from Adesanya then another inside leg kick. Gastelum’s hand speed has fallen off at this point, Adesanya lands a leg kick. Both men feint as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Adesanya, 29-28 Adesanya overall

ROUND FOUR: Gastelum is coming forward this round, misses a few punches but he’s looking to force the issue. Adesanya lands a right, Gastelum gets a body lock and drives Adesanya into the fence but can’t hold him. Inside leg kick from Adesanya, Gastelum returns this one. Knee to the body from a quick Thai clinch form Adesanya. Adesanya lands another inside leg kick, Gastelum is is a lot flatter now. A couple of rights land for Adesanya. Gastelum falls a hair short with a one two. Adesanya lands a right as Gastelum tried to shift his way into the pocket. Adesanya evades a series of punches but Gastelum clinches him on the fence. Gastelum can’t control him though and they separate. Another right from Adesanya lands. They trade power hand punches. Both men land again in close, Adesanya lands a combination. They trade rights again. Another inside leg kick from Adesanya, those are adding up at this point. Gastelum lands a left but can’t follow up. Stiff left from Adesanya then another inside leg kick. Bit of a head kick from Gastelum wobbles Adesanya, he’s after him along the fence but can’t finish. They trade and now Adesanya lands the heavy head kick. Gastelum avoids a high kick. Bit of a left from Gastelum, and they clinch up and that’s where the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gastelum, 38-38 overall

ROUND FIVE: They start throwing early, Gastelum is coming forward looking to continue forcing the issue. Bit of a left from Gastelum lands. Adesanya lands an inside leg kick. Three punches land for Adesanya then a front kick to the face. Gastelum lands a left. Straight right from Adesanya wobbles Gastelum, Gastelum grabs a single leg but Adesanya tries a guillotine, they hit the mat and Adesanya is after a triangle choke. That choke is nearly in, Adesanya uses it to sweep and they’re back on the feet. Great fight so far. Another multiple punch combination lands for Adesanya. A couple of straight rights from Adesanya stun Gastelum but he remains upright. Another right from Adesanya then a right hook, Gastelum is hurt but still fighting. Gastelum pushes into a clinch, Adesanya breaks free. High kick from Adesanya is blocked but he jacks the jaw of Gastelum with a one two, somehow Gastelum is upright. A series of rights from Adesanya drop Gastelum, he looks to finish but Gastelum is back up looking for a double leg against the fence. Elbows from Adesanya land and then they break. More punches from Adesanya land, Gastelum is rocked and backing up, Adesanya drops him again and elbows him on the mat but Gastelum is on his knees. Adesanya moves to his back and lands punches as Gastelum stands. Another knockdown for Adesnya and the ref nearly stops it before the clock runs down but Gastelum will see the final horn.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Adesanya, 48-46 Adesanya overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW interim middleweight champion – Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision(48-46 x3)

Fight of the Year so far, but with the main event coming it’s not even guaranteed Fight of the Night. Brilliant fight all around, Gastelum’s chin is inhuman. Mic time for Adesanya, he says he always envisioned this moment and was ready for war because he knew Gastelum was a warrior. He says his inevitable documentary is going to be lit, then he takes his belt off and offers it to his head coach and they tearfully embrace, then jokes that he hopes the win makes up for all the times he was late to practice. Asked about the fifth round he says he doesn’t think about the scorecards, he only needs one round, and says he was willing to die as he’s lost team mates to the fight game and he was willing to do that for this title. He says he thought the fight was going to be stopped at the end of the fifth but Gastelum kept moving around denying him proper position. To close he thanks Atlanta.

If I smoked I’d need a cigarette after that fight, but there’s one more excellent fight on paper. I mean just look at the final 40 seconds of the fight.

Max Holloway is the UFC featherweight champion and hasn’t lost a fight since 2013, winning thirteen fights in a row during that time including two wins over all time great Jose Aldo and a successful title defense against Brian Ortega which is good enough for the longest active UFC winning streak. Holloway is now trying his hand at lightweight in this interim title fight hoping to move towards two divisional championship territory and cement himself as an all time great. Dustin Poirier is on a career best run that has seen wins over Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, and Eddie Alvarez in his last fights. This is Poirier’s first shot at UFC gold and he’s hoping to capture it, derail a bit of Holloway’s hype, and secure an even bigger fight for his next bout. The odds are with Holloway at -250 against +200 for Poirier.

Lightweight interim Title Bout: Max Holloway (20-3, 155 lbs.) vs. #3 Dustin Poirier (24-5 1 NC, 154.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Holloway is two inches taller while Poirier has three inches of reach on him. Poirier fights southpaw while Holloway fights out of whatever stance he feels like depending on the situation. Holloway opens orthodox for those keeping track. Bit of a jab from Holloway, Poirier lands a leg kick after missing a left. A couple of lefts land for Holloway, Poirier lands a front kick to the body. Right to the body from Holloway. Another right to the body from Holloway, Holloway lands a leg kick after missing a couple of punches. Straight left lands for Poirier and Holloway is backing up but Holloway drops him with a right hook along the fence. Holloway looks to tee off but thinks better of the situation and resets. Left hook then a right from Holloway land, Poirier lands a flush left and we’ve got pocket brawling and Poirier is looking for a finish. Right from Poirier wobbles Holloway again but Holloway keeps moving. More hooks from Poirier in close and Holloway is backing up. They trade in close, Holloway goes southpaw and eats another left. Holloway lands a left then a right. They trade again in close, the clubbing power of Poirier in close is giving Holloway trouble. Bit of a left from Holloway lands. Left hook in close for Holloway lands, bit of a straight left from Poirier. Straight right lands for Holloway. Head kick from Holloway is blocked and that will basically end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Poirier, possible 10-8

ROUND TWO: There’s some swelling around the right eye of Holloway. Poirier misses a kick, Holloway jabs the body. Holloway lands a left. Poirier lands a left to the body. A few more body shots from Holloway then a left hook. Leg kick from Poirier lands. Poirier lands a jab, Holloway goes back to the body. Holloway avoids a left then lands a left hook. More body shots from Holloway land. Holloway lands another body shot and they both miss lead hand hooks. More body shots from Holloway, Poirier lands a right elbow in close. Straight left lands for Poirier. Holloway goes back to the body with his right hand. Poirier looking to get his jab going, Holloway blocks a knee tap attempt. Bit of a short left lands for Holloway in close. Body kick from Holloway then a couple of punches. Poirier’s head defense is solid so far, he’s mitigating a lot of the punches but his body is open and Holloway is reading that. Another body kick for Holloway then they trade power hand punches. Poirier lands a left and Holloway is hurt on the fence. Holloway goads him on while defending. Poirier clips Holloway with a right hook and he’s a little wobbled. Holloway lands a couple of jabs. Both men trade in close as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Poirier, 20-18 Poirier overall

ROUND THREE: Poirier avoids a one two. Holloway lands to the body then a short right in close. More body shots from Holloway land but Poirier lands a counter right then a body kick. Holloway lands another right to the body but he’s struggling to really get any use out of his offense. Poirier eats a jab then lands a body kick. Poirier lands another couple of clubbing punches, Holloway seems stuck in second gear. Holloway lands a right and another to follow up. There’s damage to both of Holloway’s eyes now. Holloway lands a one two then a right to the body. They trade some power hand punches, Poirier is doing a good job of ducking his head to take the punches of Holloway on the top of his head whereas Holloway is eating them to the soft tissue. Holloway lands a left hook. A flurry from Holloway lands, Poirier tries to fire back and Holloway lands a couple of knees to the body but Poirier looks for a takedown off of the second one. Holloway is defending along the fence, he’s landing some elbows and has Poirier rethinking the angle of his head. They ride out the round in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holloway, 29-28 Poirier overall

ROUND FOUR: Holloway lands a straight right to star the round. Poirier looks for a takedown along the fence, he gets Holloway down but Holloway is looking to wall walk immediately. Holloway is back up, Poirier still after a takedown but Holloway breaks free and lands a knee to the body. Right hook lands for Poirier but Holloway just eats this one. Knees to the body from Holloway, the pressure is getting to Poirier a bit. Combination from Holloway lands as Poirier is along the fence, Poirier fires back but Holloway will not let him breathe. A couple of rights land for Poirier in close then a left and Holloway is retreating now. Holloway backs Poirier into the fence again and digs to the body with punches and knees. More body shots then a right to the head from Holloway. Poirier lands a jab then a bit of a left but he’s visibly slowing. Holloway lands a body kick. Poirier lands a knee in close and Holloway is cut badly along the bridge of the nose and is bleeding badly. Poirier lands a jab, Holloway just eggs him on and lands a clubbing right of his own. Holloway defends a takedown along the fence. Holloway lands some body shots then looks for a d’arce choke as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holloway but that one could go either way, 38-38 overall

ROUND FIVE: Holloway comes out jabbing this round and lands a body kick. Poirier misses a body kick but lands a jab of his own. They trade rights in close, Holloway still can’t get his jab going and he walks into a left cross from Poirier. Holloway lands a right but Poirier isn’t really phased by the head shots. Long right to the body from Holloway. One two from Holloway lands. Holloway lands a body kick and avoids a couple of hooks. Poirier lands a right hook after evading a one two. Holloway lands a right to the body then a right to the head. Poirier lands a bit of a left then misses a couple of punches. Holloway gets close and digs to the body with a few punches. Both men block combinations then clinch up and Poirier is after a takedown along the fence. They wind up with Poirier trying for a single leg looking to burn clock. Holloway can’t get free, Poirier eats a knee to the body and winds up on the fence. They break and we get the classic bits of pocket brawling as the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Poirier, 48-47 Poirier overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW interim lightweight champion – Dustin Poirier via unanimous decision (49-46 x3)

Holloway never got a handle on the power of Poirier, never really dealt with the jab that Poirier presented, and Poirier weathered parts of the storm and found his openings when Holloway presented them. Mic time for Poirier, he says this feels amazing and that he’s dreaming, and notes he just beat one of the best in the world. He says he’s been knocked down but climbed back and earned this title. He mentions getting hurt a bit in the third round but he dug down and decided that Holloway would have to finish him. He calls himself the champ then tells Khabib to get his shit together because they’ve got a belt to fight for. To close he thanks the UFC, tells everyone out there that he’s the champ after being told he’s not good enough and wants to inspire everyone. He puts over his wife and says the belt is as much hers as it is his.

Holloway gets some mic time as well now, he says Poirier just beat a world champion to become a champion and congratulates Poirier. Asked about the move up to 155 he says he felt good and thought it was his night but he learned differently. Asked about what’s next in terms of lightweight or featherweight he says he’s still the champ but wants to be the pound for pound champ, he’ll even fight Daniel Cormier if that will get him closer to that kind of recognition.

Those last two fights were brilliant MMA action, I hope if you didn’t see them live that you’ll take the time to find them because they were wonderful.

On that note, UFC 236 comes to a close. Thank you everyone for reading, be that live or after the fact. Tomorrow morning at a special early start time we’ll be recording the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, feel free to leave questions or comments below and I’ll do my best to get them on the air. We’ll be breaking down all of the action from this event, preview next weeks lackluster UFC Fight Night 149 when the UFC returns to Russia, and talk all the news of the week. I’ll be back here next Saturday early morning for that event, I hope you’ll be back as well. Until then, stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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