Dustin Poirer and Max Holloway was the main event at Saturday’s UFC 236 and had to follow a stellar match between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum. The middleweights had already put on a classic match, received a standing ovation from the crowd had pretty much secured Fight of the Night honors.
Not to be outdone, the lightweights also put on a stellar match forcing the UFC to dish out two sets of bonuses for the best fight of the night.
The match went a full five rounds with both men testing each other throughout the bout. Poirer tested Holloway early with a solid overhand right and followed it up with a flurry of punches. Holloway responded but Dustin continued punishing him throughout the first round.
The second round was pretty much all Poirer landing significant strikes, which Holloway continued to absorb. Holloway would take the punishment and gesture for more but he took damage to his right eye, which started swelling.
Holloway went on the offensive in the third round and had Poirer in trouble a few times. He landed a number of strikes and had his opponent shaky on his feet a few times. Dustin endured the punishment and even landed some counters but this was the first round that the featherweight champ controlled and could have one on the score cards.
The fourth round was too close to call and may have been going Holloway’s way until Poirer landed a knee to Holloway’s face that cut him badly. Max made it out of the round but not before absorbing more significant and head strikes from his opponent. Holloway looked to almost have position on the ground to lock in a submission but ran out of time.
Both men slowed down somewhat in the final round and after being struck a few times, Poirer took his opponent to the cage and attempted to take him down. The two would eventually stand up and throw a flurry of punches before the final bell. For the second time of the night, the crowd would stand and give the two fighters a standing ovation.
All three judges scored the bout 46 – 49 with Dustin Poirer being declared the winner via unanimous decision. Poirer was presented with the interim UFC Lightweight title and is expected to face Khabib Nurmagomedov when he returns from suspension to unify the titles.
Nurmagomedov went to social media to comment on the fight, stating he didn’t agree with the decision and thought the fight should have ended in a draw. He gave respect to both fighters and told Poirer “see you in September.”