UFC 236 went down last night (Sat., April 13, 2019) from inside State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA., which saw Dustin Poirier defeat Max Holloway after five rounds of intense action, winning the interim Lightweight title in the process (highlights). In the co-headlining act, Israel Adesanya defeated Kelvin Gastelum to capture the interim Middleweight title in a Fight of the Year candidate that had everyone giving them a standing ovation (see it again here).
Biggest Winner: Dustin Poirier
After 22 fights inside the Octagon, Dustin Poirier is finally a UFC champion. And he did it by defeating one of the best in all of mixed martial arts (MMA), piecing up featherweight champion Max Holloway in another wild scrap to secure a unanimous decision win. That is now two wins for Dustin over Max, which is a huge feather in his cap as he is the only man who is able to hold that distinction.
For “The Diamond,” the victory not only gives him his first taste of UFC gold, but it propels him into the upper echelon moving forward, as no one can deny his place among the best MMA fighters on the planet. To top it off, he secures himself a big-money championship fight against 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year. In his last four fights, Poirier has defeated Holloway, Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis and Eddie Alvarez. No other combatant can say they hold wins over all of those men, much less consecutively.
Runner Up: Israel Adesanya
Adesanya’s lighting-fast rise to the top of the division culminated last night after he won the interim belt after an absolute barn-burner of a fight against Gastelum. That is now six straight wins for “The Last Stylebender” inside the Octagon in a little over a year. Think about that for a second: Six wins on the toughest proving ground in just 14 months to win his first UFC title. That’s a tremendous feat, and now the 29-year old has pretty much silenced his last naysayer after that performance and locked down a title unification match against division champion Robert Whittaker.
He also walked away with an extra $100,000 in bonus money. While it’s way too soon for this, Adesanya just opened up his path to superstardom by overcoming a very game Gastelum who was also seeking his first taste of gold. Israel was tested time and again last night, and when he needed to deliver the most, he did so by dominating the fifth and final round.
Biggest Loser: Eryk Anders
After starting his pro MMA career with 10 straight wins, including two in a row inside the Octagon, Anders has gone on a pretty bad slump, losing four of his last five including his last three in a row. Last night, Eryk came up short to Khalil Rountree in main card action, dropping a unanimous decision “The War Horse.”
To make matters worse, Eryk has gone up and down in weight in his last three fights, leaving him in an odd place in both the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions. What his current losing streak means for Anders is unknown, but if he does get another shot inside the Octagon, he needs to pick a weight class and stick with it.
To get full UFC 236: “Holloway vs Poirier 2” play-by-play updates and results click here.