UFC 236 went down last Sat. night (April 13, 2019) from inside State Farm Arena in Atlanta, and 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 (see it again here).
Winner: Dustin Poirier
Who He Should Face Next: Khabib Nurmagomedov
Sorry Conor, but Dustin vs. Nate Diaz is not going to happen... at least not next. “Notorious” tried to play matchmaker shortly after Poirier won the interim strap by suggesting UFC re-book his fight against the younger of the Diaz brothers. That ship has sailed, though, as Nate has no immediate plans on returning to action and “The Diamond” more than earned his shot at Khabib’s title later this year.
So as much bargaining power as McGregor has, he isn’t going to force UFC to allow him to sneak into a championship rematch against “The Eagle.” While UFC has been known to flip the scrip in the past, there is no way the promotion will pass on booking Poirier vs. Khabib... right?
Winner: Israel Adesanya
Who He Should Fight Next: Robert Whittaker
After outlasting Kelvin Gastelum in a hard-fought five round war to snag his own interim strap, Israel earned himself a shot at division champion Robert Whittaker later this year. It’s an interesting matchup to say the least, as Whittaker has been on a crazy run since moving up Middleweight, winning eight in a row including taking out some of the best the division has to offer.
Adesanya, meanwhile, has been a busy man since making his UFC debut a little over a year ago, winning six in row including capturing his title by defeating Gastelum. If “The Last Stylebender” can take out “The Reaper,” he will soon become one of the newest faces of the promotion.
Winner: Khalil Rountree
Who He Should Face Next: Misha Cirkunov
Khalil got back on the winning track with an impressive all-around performance against Eryk Anders, taking it to the ex-football player for three rounds to earn a clear unanimous decision win. Up next for Khalil should be a showdown against Misha Cirkunov, who was last seen getting his clock cleaned by Johnny Walker in just 38 seconds at UFC 235.
Interestingly enough, Rountree’s last defeat came against Walker, too, snapping his three fight win streak in the process. Misha is barely hanging on to the No. 15 spot, while Khalil is inching closer to his first ever slot on the official UFC rankings.
Winner: Dwight Grant
Who He Should Fight Next: Niko Price
Grant earned a razor-thin split decision win over Alan Jouban in Atlanta, giving him his second straight UFC win. While a good addition to his resume, Dwight has a long way to go before he starts facing the bigger dogs the Octagon has to offer. Up next, I’d like to see him face off against Niko Price. Niko knocked out Tim Means in the very first round in his previous outing just last month, earning him his first win since mid-2018. Price and Grant have similar fighting styles and should make for an interesting throwdown.
Winner: Nikita Krylov
Who he Should Fight Next: Tyson Pedro
Nikita hasn’t had it easy in his first two UFC fights, losing to Jan Blachowicz in his debut, following it up with an impressive win over Ovince Saint Preux last Saturday night. Though on a two-fight losing streak, I’d like to see Pedro be Krylov’s next challenge inside the eight-sided cage.
Pedro was knocked out by Mauricio Rua in his last outing, though an injury to his leg may have attributed to the defeat. Tyson should be gearing up for a return to action in the middle of the year, which should give Nikita enough time to rest after his hard-earned win over “OSP.”
To get full UFC 236: “Holloway vs Poirier 2” play-by-play updates and results click here.
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