Max Holloway’s five-round defeat to Dustin Poirier in the UFC 236 main event in Atlanta on Saturday night came with a certain silver lining for the Hawaiian — both fighters left the cage as UFC world champions.
Holloway’s 13-fight win streak came to an end in the evening’s headliner as he was outpointed 49-46 on all three cards in what was a competitive — if conclusive — contest. Holloway’s move to 155-pounds to attempt to claim a second UFC world title was, of course, and ambitious move but despite both hitting the scales at the same weight a day prior, it was Poirier who looked like the far bigger man in the cage. This size difference also translated to power in what wore down to a battle of volume punching versus concussive force, all wrapped in excellent technique.
In the end though, it looks as though Holloway’s move to 155 is a one-time only deal as UFC President Dana White spoke to the media in the wake of the bout and said that he is looking forward to seeing how he responds to this defeat back in his natural home at featherweight.
“It’s crazy, what I didn’t expect is he looked small at 155,” White said to the media post-fight. “So I look forward to him going back to 145.”
A list of interesting challenges certainly await Holloway. Zabit Magomedsharipov looks destined to be a star, while Alexander Volkanovski and Renato Moicano have very much announced themselves as title contenders also. Oh and let’s not forget divisional stalwarts Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo, both of whom are still plugging away.
“We took him straight from the octagon to the hospital,” White said of Holloway. “I told my guys, ‘I don’t want him doing any interviews. Take him straight to the hospital.’ He’s tough, he’s awesome, but I’d like to see him at 145 pounds again. Poirier looked much bigger than him in my opinion.”