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In what many called an event that wasn’t worth the hype, UFC 236 proved everyone wrong with a night of action. Instant classic bouts between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum for the interim Middleweight Championship, as well as Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway at UFC 236 for the interim Middleweight Championship made for a night of entertainment.
Israel Adesanya def. Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision
Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum were put into this situation after a stretch of impressive performances on both ends. Gastelum held victories over the likes of Johnny Hendricks, Tim Kennedy and Michael Bisping; originally placing him within the title picture against Robert Whittaker.
After Whittaker pulled out due to injury, Adesanya stepped in. Adesanya, who recently defeated UFC legend Anderson Silva, has made a name for himself as of late.
In the end, the judges awarded the victory to Adesanya. Despite the loss, Gastelum should have relative ease finding himself back in the title picture in the near future.
Dustin Poirier def. Max Holloway via unanimous decision
When Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was suspended for his post-fight actions at UFC 229, Dana White was forced to search for an interim championship fight. At first, the UFC attempted to book Dustin Poirier against former Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson. However, due to personal reasons, the fight was shelved, as the UFC booked Dustin Poirier against Max Holloway instead.
While Poirier got the best of Holloway in their first encounter, their rematch wasn’t one-sided by any means. This fight gave off a feeling of Robbie Lawler against Rory MacDonald based on the grit the bout provided. After 25 minutes, the judges awarded Poirier as the newest interim Lightweight Champion.
Israel Adesanya is expected to face off against Robert Whittaker at a later time, while Poirier is primed to face the undefeated champion Nurmagomedov in the future. After a very impressive card at UFC 236, White and company have a variety of options to choose from.
In an alternative setting, the UFC could book Adesanya to take on the winner between Jacare Souza and Jack Hermannson. As for Poirier, he could very well see the winner between Al Iaquinta and Donald Cerrone. In addition, there are rumors that the UFC may attempt to re-book a fight between Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz before the end of the year.
Image Credits: MMA Junkie, Google News