UFC 236 features a pair of massive title fights, including some of the deadliest strikers in the sport. Max Holloway will rematch Dustin Poirier for the lightweight title while Israel Adesanya will attempt to extend his unbeaten streak against Kelvin Gastelum for the middleweight title. Expect an explosive evening of action at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on April 13th, 2019, with Israel and Max favored to emerge as champs.
UFC 236 Main Event
UFC 236 will feature a pair of title fights for the lightweight and middleweight division. Sports betting sites have determined that Holloway and Adesanya will continue their undefeated streaks.
Max Holloway -250 vs Dustin Poirier +195
Lightweight Interim Title Bout
Max Holloway enters this lightweight title bout as the biggest favorite for UFC 236 odds on April 13th. As the undisputed featherweight champ, he’ll attempt to jump up a weight class to become one of the rare dual champs across two divisions.
Despite being listed as the UFC odds underdog in this bout, Dustin Poirier owns a solid history of superb performances in big ticket events. Poirier boasts a previous victory over Holloway, along with big wins over Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje, all of whom are lethal opponents.
Holloway vs Poirier II is one of the most anticipated rematches of the season, seven years after Poirier outgrappled Holloway at UFC 143. This time around, Max will have more then a week to prepare for this career-defining bout.
Holloway vs Poirier – Tale of the Tape
Holloway has a couple of inches of extra height compared to Dustin, but Max gives up three inches of reach to his shorter competitor. This may not seem like much, but a few inches can change the complexion of any bout. Max enters this fight on a 13-fight win streak, including four consecutive TKOs.
After a relatively slow start to his career, Holloway hasn’t lost since dropping a unanimous decision against Conor McGregor. He’s turned into a deadly fighter ever since, tearing a path through the featherweight division, including two performance of the night and a fight of the night nod from the UFC.
Max set a new record for the number of significant strikes in a match, landing 290 against Ortega. He’s also the record holder for most victories as a featherweight, accumulating 15 wins during his run to the top of the division. Expect Holloway to get busy early and often in the bout in an attempt to establish a consistent onslaught.
Dustin’s ability to create submissions makes him a versatile fighter, but he enjoys chucking fists as much as the next man. Poirier’s incredible TKO victory over Justin Gaethje earned the nod for 2018 fight of the year, and his second-round TKO win against Eddie Alvarez redeemed Dustin after a no contest due to illegal knees during their first meeting.
Poirier has earned impressive wins throughout his career, but he’s never been able to earn a belt. At the age of 30, he’ll have an opportunity to secure the interim lightweight title, which would validate his lengthy grind through the ranks.
This matchup could ascend into a glorious, stand up brawl between two highly-skilled strikers, even if Poirier would love to secure another submission win over Holloway.
Holloway vs. Poirer Prediction
Holloway is no longer the green warrior who submitted quickly to a Poirer submission. As the winningest featherweight in UFC history, he’ll turn the tables on Poirer with a flurry of fists. Expect a TKO win for Holloway in this title rematch.
Kelvin Gastelum +160 vs Israel Adesanya -200
Middleweight Interim Title Bout
UFC betting odds for this event includes a second title bout, with middleweight Israel Adesanya listed as a strong favorite to emerge the victor. Israel has displayed his prodigious gifts across multiple weight classes, including heavyweight, cruiserweight and middleweight categories.
Gastelum will have his hands full for this fight, but Kelvin has proven himself as a survivor during his rise to fame with the UFC. He’s been able to utilize outstanding all-around skill to avoid bad losses in the octagon. These elusive talents will be vital against a known killer like Israel.
This middleweight title fight will feature a clash of combat styles. The elite striking of Adesanya will pose a constant threat throughout the match. Gastelum will need to utilize his craftiness to the utmost because Israel is capable of ending the contest in the blink of an eye.
Gastelum vs Adesanya – Tale of the Tape
Israel is a tall drink of water, towering over most of his competition at six foot four. With an approximate reach of 80 inches, Adesanya typically enjoys the luxury of dictating the pace and range of his fights.
As a former kickboxing champ and professional boxer, Adesanya should be able to easily out-strike most MMA competitors. He’s only been knocked out once in his entire career, which includes a 75-5-1 record for kickboxing.
Israel has earned a blue belt in jujitsu, but this training reflects a basic grappling defense. His 16-0 record in MMA includes 13 KOs and three decisions, which should instill fear in most of his opponents.
Coincidentally, Gastelum doesn’t have a perfect MMA record, but he’s never been knocked out. Kelvin doesn’t have the Armageddon-like striking of Israel. Instead, Gastelum leverages excellent proficiency across combat disciplines to remain alive and dangerous in most bouts.
Kelvin gives up several inches in height and reach, which forms the basis of Israel’s main advantage. As such, Gastelum will need to take the occasional risk to get inside Adesanya’s perimeter. This will create a dangerous scenario for Gastelum if he doesn’t remain patient and pick his spots.
If he’s able to set up a takedown, Kelvin could arrange a tapout or ground and pound victory. Fighting as a southpaw will also improve his odds of winning, because most fighters hate dealing with lefties.
Gastelum vs Adesanya Prediction
Gastelum’s a true warrior, capable of adapting to circumstances, but Israel is one of the best strikers on the circuit, mowing through UFC competition with ease. Adesanya has a significant reach advantage which will prove too difficult for Gastelum to overcome.
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