As current UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway prepares to move up to lightweight and challenge Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title at UFC 236, the featherweight title picture has become a bit uncertain.
Holloway’s most recent featherweight title defense came at UFC 231 when he beat top contender Brian Ortega by TKO (doctor stoppage), handing “T-City” his first professional loss. Before his fight against Holloway, Ortega had defeated the likes of Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson, and Renato Carneiro to stake his claim to a title shot in the featherweight division.
Brian Ortega gave his thoughts on the fight between Poirier and Holloway in a recent interview with BloodyElbow.
“I’m not too sure man,” he said of the matchup. “I know they fought before. I know Dustin got the better of him when they were young. I think both evolved into very good fighters. Max is not the same Max and Dustin is not the same Dustin. The key points that both of them have, Max has the conditioning, the cardio, being able to throw punches in bunches. Then also, Dustin has other hidden weapons that he doesn’t use, and he has great striking as well. I feel like these are the fights I love to watch, because they’re fights you don’t know who to root with, or who to go with, because they’re both so good that they could finish each other. Those are the fights you want to see because that’s how you get Fight Of The Night.”
Holloway and Poirier first fought back in 2012 at UFC 143 in a featherweight contest that saw Poirier win by first-round submission. It as the first loss of Holloway’s career. Since his loss to Poirier, Holloway has gone 16-2, in his career including a current 13-fight winning streak while holding the featherweight title since early 2017.
As for Dustin Poirier, he is 12-4-1 since his first fight with Holloway and has established his home in the lightweight division with wins over Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, and Eddie Alvarez since moving up from featherweight.
Holloway vs. Poirier 2 will serve as the main event for UFC 236 which is scheduled to take place on April 13, at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Who do you think wins this Holloway vs. Poirier fight? Who do you want to see Brian Ortega fight next? Join the conversation in the comments section.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/5/2019.