Max “Blessed” Holloway and Dustin “Diamond” Poirier square off in the main event of UFC 236 on April 13, 2019, at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

This will mark the second time Holloway and Poirier will be fighting. Poirier submitted Holloway during the latter’s UFC debut at UFC 143 in 2012. Since then, a lot has changed including Holloway becoming the undisputed featherweight champion in 2017. Blessed will be moving up in weight to make the rematch happen. And because current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is serving a nine-month suspension for his involvement in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl, this bout will be for the interim UFC lightweight championship.

“Fighting" Max Holloway vs Dustin Poirier

Holloway is 20-3 and is 5-11 with a reach of 69 inches. Poirier” is two years older and fights out of the southpaw stance. The Diamond is 5-9 with a reach of 72 inches. These two have fought before at UFC 143 in 2012 and Poirier submission in the second round.  Holloway is moving up in weight to make this fight happen but given that Max started his career as a lightweight, I don’t think weight is going to be an issue in this bout. Holloway has gone 16-2 since that loss to Poirier while the Diamond has gone 12-4-1in 16 bouts since UFC 143.

Max Holloway vs Dustin Poirier Odds

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Odds from as of 3/22/19

Holloway has a two-inch advantage in height but that is negated by the fact that Poirier has a three-inch reach advantage over Blessed. Both fighters have solid chins, elite striking, and great cardio. I think Holloway has the advantage in striking, given his striking angles, combinations and work rate. I still like to think that Poirier has the bigger punch between the two and that he is the better wrestler.

Holloway has an 83% takedown defense so I don’t think Poirier will have a picnic on the ground. If Holloway remains on his feet, he is going to dominate this fight despite Poirier being the longer man. What Poirier must be wary about is that Max lands a ridiculous 6.9 significant strikes per minute That’s some volume. I think Holloway is too smart to get caught here. He’s going to dance around Poirier and win on points. Prediction: Max Holloway by decision

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“Fighting" Kelvin Gastelum vs Israel Adesanya

With Robert Whitaker injured, the UFC has set up an interim middleweight title bout between Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya. Gastelum was supposed to challenge Whitaker at UFC 234 when the champ pulled out due to another injury. During that event, Adesanya outstruck the legendary Anderson Silva to earn the right to fight Gastelum for the interim belt. Gastelum is 15-3-1 with six KOs while Adesanya is 16-0 with 13 knockouts. The Last Stylebender enjoys a significant advantage in size at 5 inches in height and 9 inches in reach.

Kelvin Gastelum vs Israel Adesanya Odds

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Odds from as of 3/22/19

Adesanya would rather keep this on the feet than on the ground where Gastelum has the edge in wrestling. But while he will want to fight standing up, he’ll do so from a distance where he can use his length and accuracy better. Gastelum will prefer tighter exchanges as his power punches are in his hooks. If he can’t close the distance, Adesanya is just going to win this easily on points.

Gastelum does have good pop in his punches but against an elite striker, he’d rather take this fight to the ground. But he’s got to be careful when he shoots because Adesanya likes to plant his knee when his opponents go for the takedown against him. If Gastelum can’t take Adesanya down, I don’t think he’s going to win this fight. Adesanya is such a great striker, we saw that against Anderson Silva. Prediction: Israel Adesanya by decision

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“Fighting" Ovince St. Preux vs Nikita Krylov

In their first bout, Saint Preux caught Krylov attempting a guillotine choke and turned it to a rare Von Fluke submission, putting the Ukrainian to sleep 90 seconds into their match. But a lot has changed since then, especially since it was Krylov’s first bout at light heavyweight. OSP has gone up and down with an 8-7 record since that bout. Meanwhile, Krylov has gone 9-2 since that defeat, winning all of his bouts via stoppage. However, when you take a look at their resume, OSP’s competition has been much better. Although Saint Preux lost the big fights during that period, Krylov did too but to opponents inferior to the ones OSP faced.

Ovince Saint Preux vs Nikita Krylov Odds

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Saint Preux




Odds from as of 3/22/19

Krylov’s skillset is diverse. His background in Kyokushin karate has served him well in the past. But he’s also an excellent submission artist, with more submission wins (14) than knockouts. Saint Preux though is the more dynamic fighter. He has very heavy kicks from the southpaw stance and throws hard, straight punches as well. OSP also mixes them well with nice takedowns and a very good ground and pound on the mount.

Krylov has the advantage on their feet. He lands an average of 5.59 significant strikes per minute while OSP only connects with 2.68. Krylov is also more accurate at 58% against Saint Preux’s 47%. On the ground, is where Saint Preux should dominate. OSP lands 1.18 takedowns per 15 minutes but given Krylov’s takedown defense is only 40%, you can expect more from Saint Preux in this fight.

I think Krylov will have his moments and I don’t think he will be caught with a Von Flue choke again. But Saint Preux is going to take him down, mount him and score a stoppage victory. Prediction: Ovince Saint Preux by stoppage

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“Fighting" Quick Picks

  • Eryk Anders -165 vs Khalil Rountree Jr +145, Prediction: Khalil Rountree Jr.
  • Montel Jackson -340 vs Andre Soukhamthath +280, Production: Montel Jackson
  • Wilson Reis +170 vs Alexandre Pantoja -200, Prediction: Alexandre Pantoja
  • Boston Salmon vs Khalid Taha, Prediction: Khalid Taha

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