Max Holloway was on a quest to become a double champion at UFC 236 in Atlanta Saturday night, and wanted to feed two birds with one scone by avenging a big former loss. It wasn't to be.
UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is on the shelf after being suspended following his post-fight brawl last November. He'd just knocked off former champion -- who had been stripped -- Conor McGregor. Tony Ferguson? Count him among interim champions who hadn't lost their titles, too. Either way, another was crowned on Saturday night.
Poirier poured on the offense in the first round, drilling Holloway with brilliant combo and pressure in what was scored a 10-8 round by yours truly. Despite Holloway having a better round two, Poirier still edged things out.
Round three was a different story, with Poirier playing into Holloway's strengths -- active and in the center of the cage. Combined with Poirier's decreased volume spelled good news for the UFC Featherweight Champion in Holloway. That was until a Poirier knee busted open Holloway with a vengeance.
Poirier rallied and ended up earning the win, and his second victory over Max Holloway. This one will go down in the record books, overshadowing the quick bout seven years prior.
Holloway and Poirier first fought over seven years ago -- now a completely different world. Holloway was 20-years old and in his fourth pro fight, and his first in the UFC. This fight was also up a weight division at lightweight, the first time Holloway has fought there since before the 2012 loss to Poirier.
Poirier called out Nurmagomedov after the fight, and Holloway credited Poirier for the win.
You can see our full UFC 236 live coverage at this link, and our post-show podcast at this link. The Fightful MMA panel will also be breaking down the happenings on Tuesday at 2 PM EST for the Fightful MMA Podcast.