Max Holloway Battles Dustin Poirier for the Interim Lightweight Title at UFC 236

An interim lightweight champion will be crowned at UFC 236 as featherweight king Max Holloway moves up from 145 pounds to face Dustin Poirier in the new main event just announced for April 13 in Atlanta.

An interim lightweight champion will be crowned at UFC 236 as featherweight king Max Holloway moves up from 145 pounds to face Dustin Poirier in the new main event just announced for April 13 in Atlanta.

UFC president Dana White announced the matchup via ESPN on Friday.

The fight came together after White claims Tony Ferguson turned down the opportunity to face Holloway with the interim lightweight title up for grabs. Ferguson previously held the interim title only to have it stripped from him when he was unable to compete at UFC 223 last April after suffering a knee injury.

Considering how that situation played out, it’s understandable why Ferguson wasn’t jumping at another opportunity to win the interim title.

The necessity for an interim champion came about after reigning lightweight title holder Khabib Nurmagomedov said that he would not be returning to action until at least October.

Nurmagomedov was suspended nine months by the Nevada Athletic Commission after he instigated a post fight brawl at UFC 229 last October. While Nurmagomedov would be eligible to compete as early as July, he hoped to sit out for a full year in solidarity with his teammates who faced 12 month suspensions for their involvement in the brawl.

Now Holloway will move up for the 145-pound division where he’s currently the reigning featherweight champion as he looks to win his second title in the UFC. The Hawaiian will also attempt to avenge his first loss in the UFC after he fell to Poirier by submission back in 2012.

As for Poirier, he’s been champing at the bit for a title fight since tearing through the lightweight division with consecutive wins over Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje.

Poirier will compete for the interim lightweight title against Holloway in the main event for UFC 236 with the co-main event featuring an interim middleweight title fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya.
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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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