UFC 236, emanating from State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, was an extremely exciting night of fights.
From the very first bantamweight scrap to kick off the 13-fight card to the double interim title fight main event, UFC 236 was one of the more memorable night of fights in recent years.
With two new interim champions getting crowned, the emergence of a light heavyweight contender, and a hype train derailing, there were plenty of storylines emerged from the card. But which fighters made the most of their opportunities?
For anyone who has ever questioned if hard work pays off, look no further than Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier.
Poirier’s 21st fight in the Octagon would net him a world title. He and Max Holloway put on a show to close the night in Atlanta.
Heading into UFC 236 much of the conversation was regarding Holloway and his efforts to become the next “champ-champ”. However, Poirier’s demeanor all week was of bulletproof confidence. He showed why on Saturday night.
It looks at through the lightweight title will be unified in September, as UFC President Dana White said during the post-fight presser that Poirier will meet Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year.
What a performance by “The War Horse” Khalil Rountree.
Since his time on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 23, Rountree has hit some bumps in the road. However, in his last five fights, he has really reached a new gear.
Rountree has won four of his last five; his only blemish in that stretch is to the Brazilian sensation Johnny Walker last November. His decimation over Anders should earn Rountree a top 15 opponent in his next outing.
Boston Salmon wasn’t the only bantamweight looking to get his hand raised in the Octagon for the first time on Saturday night.
“The Warrior” Khalid Taha needed only 25 seconds to ruin the UFC debut of one of the more hyped up fighters on Saturday night’s card. Taha, 26, has cut his teeth all over the world. Having competed in RIZIN and Brave CF, the bright light of the UFC have not phased “The Warrior” in his second fight for the promotion.
Look for Taha to get a quick turnaround. He worked less than one minute at UFC 236 and the 135-pound division is full of exciting match ups. The upcoming UFC 236 card in Chicago could be a landing spot for Taha as that card seems to be a showcase for the bantamweights.
Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum left it all in the Octagon on their way to a 25-minute instant class interim title fight.
Both men took home an extra $50,000 for their effort but more importantly, both men left a piece of themselves in the Octagon for our entertainment, and both will be remembered for it forever.
Per White, Adesanya will cash his interim title in for a chance at the real thing later this year when he faces the middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker at a stadium in Australia.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/15/2019.