Join us today (Saturday, April 13th) on Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion, round scoring, and play-by-play as UFC 236 goes down in Atlanta, Georgia.
We have a pair of interim title fights headlining this show. The main event pits Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier against each other once again, this time for the interim lightweight belt. Poirier submitted a then-debuting Holloway at UFC 143 in 2012, and now Holloway reigns as the men’s featherweight champion, whereas Poirier is an elite lightweight contender. The co-main features strikers Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya fighting for the interim middleweight strap.
This post will cover the PPV main card.
The show kicks off on UFC Fight Pass (and ESPN+ for PPV purchasers) at approximately 6:15 PM ET with four fights. The card then moves to ESPN at 8 PM ET for four more bouts, then onto the main card at 10 PM ET. The full lineup and schedule follows. The preliminary card will be covered in a separate post.
Check out this week’s MMA Vivisection for predictions, analysis and betting odds on the each matchup.
Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier – Interim lightweight title
Round 1 – Good leg kick by Poirier. He comes up short with a left hand. Holloway lands a shot upstairs. Good body punch by Holloway. And another one. Strong leg kick by Poirier to punctuate his flurry. Two straight lefts by Poirier tag Holloway and back him up! Now Holloway comes back and starts teeing off on Poirier! Left hook and right hand by Holloway. Right hand hurts Holloway They are trading monster shots and might be hurting each other! This is crazy! Big right and an uppercut by Poirier! Knees by Poirier! Holloway in trouble! Holloway wobbly! Big combo by Poirier! Holloway throwing back! Big left hook by Poirier! Now Holloway with a left and a right! Poirier hurtsr Holloway again! Another left by Poirier! Left hook by Max. Straight left by Poirier! Max is getting tattooed! Nice right by Holloway. Head kick by Max. Holloway survives a huge onslaught! 10-9 Poirier.
Round 2 – Max is smiling. He’s unbelievable. Body shot by Holloway. Left hook by Holloway is just off target. Holloway with another body shot. Left hook scores for Max. Leg kick by Poirier. Holloway gets in a right hand. Body shot by Holloway. Head-body by Holloway. Max getting into a groove. Hard body shot by Max and he misses on a windmill left. Body shot by Max but an elbow by Poirier in return. Good left by Poirier. Body shots continue to land for the featherweight champ. Head kick by Max is blocked. Dustin retaliates with jabs. Poirier with the level change and a stuffed takedown. Holloway with successful jabs. Body kick by Holloway. Straight right by Max. Body kick again . Nice right by Poirier and a counter left. Straight right down the middle by Holloway. Nice two lefts by Poirier and he might have hurt Max again! Right hand by Poirier staggers Holloway! Max with a combo but he might have given this round away. 20-18 Poirier.
Round 3 – Holloway touches Dustin up with the jabs. Good leg kick by Holloway. Nice right by Holloway in short. Body shot by Dustin. Body kick by Dustin. Nice body-head combo by Max. Right hook to the body by Poirier. Counter left by Poirier after Max had a flurry. Good three-punch combo by Max. Triple jaby bpoirier. Good combo on the inside by Poirier. Countershot scores for Dustin. Straight right backs Poirier up. Good left by Holloway. And another one. Holloway eats a left and a right after hitting Dustin three times. Stiff jab by Poirier. Holloway answers back up the middle. Holloway’s eys are busted up. Poirier eats a right hand. Max with a good left hand. They’re trading learther. Holloway coming back and tagging Poirier! Flying knee by Holloway! Poirier changes levels. Max stays up right and lands some big elbows. Poirier is taking them and Max is warned for 12-to-6. Best round for Holloway. 29-28 Poirier.
Round 4 – Big right hand snaps Poirier’s head back. Deep shot by Poirier and he has the takedown. But Holloway is not on his back. Holloway back to his feet. Max with a hard knee to the body on the exit. Poirier now cut around the right eye. Good counter by Poirier. Holloway responds. Uppercut by Poirier in close quarters. Knees to the body by Max. Big flurry by Holloway! Poirier may be fading! Left hand by Max. Poirier fighting back! Poirier looking at the clock. Big body blows by Max. Poirier taking deep breaths. Another body shot and a right hand upstairs! Poirier with a straight left. Body kick by Holloway. Max eats a knee and that busted up his nose. He is spraying blood. Maxx is a mad man. Elbow by Holloway! Poirier may be hurt. Max counters a takedown attempt with a guillotine but now it’s just a headlock. Holloway went for a d’arce just as the round ended! Nuts! 38-38.
Round 5 – Jab snaps Poirier’s back head something fierce. Body kick by Holloway lands. Poirier connects with a jab. They both swing and miss hooks. Counter left by Poirier stuns Holloway! Left-right combo tags Dustin. Body shot by Holloway. Good left over the top by Max. He backs Poirier up just a tad. Nice right by Max. Elbow on the exit misses. Another kick by Holloway. Poirier just off-target on a right hand. Poirier with the right. Holloway’s combo mostly misses. Sharp body shot by Holloway. Right hand lands upstairs. Left hand counter by Poirier. Head-body by Holloway. Holloway charging forward and now Poirier again pursues the takedown. Max defends it well. One minute to go. Holloway landing some short elbows. Hammerfists by Max. Thirty seconds. Kneed to the body by Max. Uppercut misses. They swing away to the very end! 48-47 Poirier.
Official result: Dustin Poirier def. Max Holloway by unanimous decision (49-46 x3) to become the UFC interim lightweight champion
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya – Interim middleweight title
Round 1 – Front kick by Adesanya. Lands a leg kick but Gastelum lands one right back. He digs in a great body kick on Kelvin’s midsection. Adesanya gets caught with a left hook. Body kick by Gastelum as he comes forward. Missed straight left by Kelvin. Right hand stumbles Adesanya! Big moment for Gastelum. Now he lands to the body. Head kick by Adesanya. Gastelum swinging haymakers. Another head kick by Izzy is blocked. Good elusiveness by Adesanya as he dodges Gastelum’s shots. Gastelum with a jab. Nice right hand by Adesanya. A 1-2 gets through for Izzy. Gastelum with a glancing hook. 10-9 Gastelum.
Round 2 – Adesanya starts with a kick to the body. And a second one. Left hook by Adesanya lands. Third body kick by Adesanya connected flush. Body shot by Kelvin. Swinging left is blocked by Adesanya. More good body work by Izzy. Kelvin sticks out the jab. Gastelum with the 1-2 and the left lands just behind the head. Adesanya with a body kick and then a head kick. Adesanya gets tagged but Gastelum gets hit right back. Right hook-left hand combo by Kelvin. Gastelum throwing some heaters. Right hand drops Gastelum! Kelvin is back to his feet but that was a clean shot. Adesanya with the jab, head kick, and a right hand. Adesanya getting into a groove. Gastelum getting caught on counters. Brutal right by Adesanya ! He is touching up Gastelum. Spinning elbow by Adesanya! Gastelum stays on his feet and throws back at Adesanya. Leg kick by Israel. Head kick by Adesanya and then Gastelum hits him with a left hand! Takedown by Kelvin is stuffed. Excellent sprawl. What a round! 19-19.
Round 3 – Body kick by Gastelum. Leg kick by Adesanya. Straight right by Izzy and then Gastelum counters to the body. Knee in the clinch by Adesanya. Thudding body kick by Israel. Head kick blocked by Gastelum. Adesanya slaps with the leg kick. They trade in the center of the Octagon. Good stuff from both men. Stiff straight right by Adesanya. Brutal counter right by Adesanya after Gastelum missed badly. Israel piecing Kelvin up with a combination. Right hand by Gastelum catches Adesanya at the end of the punch. Body kick and leg kick in rapid fire by Adesanya. Takedown by Gastelum. Adesanya pushes him off and is back to his feet. Leg kick by Adesanya. Izzy fakes a Superman Punch as the round ends. 29-28 Adesanya.
Round 4 – Gastelum chasing for the right hook. He’s picking up the pace. Kelvin closes the distance. Adesanya exits and slaps home a leg kick. Beautiful knee to the body by Adesanya. Both men warned for extending their fingers. Leg kick by Adesanya again. Strong right hand by Adesanya and Gastelum just eats it. Jab scores for Gastelum. Adesanya jabs to the body. Slapping left by Gastelum but misses on several more shots. Gastelum clinches up but Adesanya breaks it up and lands a right hand.Adesanya is cut on the right eye area. Gastelum gets clocked with a right. Adesanya is caught with a left. Adesanya with two big shots and Gastelum shows a tremendous chin! Leg kick by Adesanya for the umpteenth time. Left hand gets through for Gastelum. Stinging left by Izzy. Head kick may have caught Adesanya! He is stumbling. But Gastelum goes for a takedown and is stuffed! Adesanya cracks Gastelum with a head kick of his own! What a crazy fight! Straight left by Gastelum. 38-38.
Round 5 – Gastelum going all-out to start the final round. Good combo by Gastelum capped off with a kick. Leg kick lands for Adesanya. Three-piece by Adesanya all upstairs. Front kick to the face and a 1-2. Left hand lands for Gastelum. Leg kick by Kelvin. Straight right by Adesanya. Standing guillotine by Adesanya!!! It fails but now in the scramble he goes for a triangle choke! Gastelum is out of the choke!INCREDIBLE SEQUENCE! Adesanya teeing off on Gastelum! Great counter by Adesanya! Big straight right hurts Gastelum! Adesanya cannot miss with that right hand! Gastelum pressures and shoots for a takedown. Adesanya stops it. Another right hand and Gastelum is stumbled! He’s not down nor is he out! NOW HE IS DOWN! ONE MINUTE TO GO! Gastelum going for a single leg. Adesanya dropping down some elbows. Gastelum in huge trouble with 30 seconds! Down he goes again! Big elbow! Adesanya going for the finish! Big shots as Gastelum gets back to his feet but he’s knocked down again! He survives to the end! What heart! What toughness! What a fight! But it’s clearly Adesanya’s. 48-46 Adesanya.
Official result: Israel Adesanya def. Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision (48-46×3) to become the UFC interim middleweight champion
Eryk Anders vs. Khalil Rountree
Round 1 – Pretty much nothing happening through the first minute. Wicked leg kick by Rountree, though. And he loads up another one on the outside. One more leg kick but Anders counters him. Rountree firing haymakers and looking for KO shots. Anders isn’t checking any of these leg kicks. Left hand down the middle connects for Rountree. Another vicious leg kick by Rountree. Just a brutal assault of kicks from Rountree and Anders is just getting tattooed. Anders misses on a spinning elbow. Knee to the body by Rountree. Dominant first frame. 10-9 Rountree.
Round 2 – Rountree opening up with combination striking, including more kicks. He decks Anders with a left hand. That was a hard fall but he’s not out of it yet. Rountree drops the hammerfists and then lets Anders up. Another left hand sends Anders crashing to the canvas again and somehow this fight is still going on. Desperation shot and Anders is easily stuffed by Rountree’s sprawl. Murderous body shots and then a left upstairs by Rountree. Left hand over the top again by Rountree. Third knockdown! Anders just got whacked with a right hand. Nope, the fight is still going on. Anders looked like he was done but he isn’t. Devastating body kick by Rountree. Fourth knockdown. Right hand again. Jason Herzog takes a close look and this fight just will not be stopped. Knee to the body once more. Two-punch combo backs Anders up. This is a 10-7 round. 20-16 Rountree.
Round 3 – Corner won’t stop it. Can Anders get a miracle comeback? Two more leg kicks by Rountree, as Anders can hardly move properly on that lead right leg. Right hook by Rountree. Vicious leg kick again. Right-left combo by Rountree. Anders hurt again with a right hook. More leg kicking by Rountree. More limping by Anders. Anders with a 1-2 but he absorbs another leg kick. A three-strike combo capped off by a head kick force Anders to retreat. Nice uppercut by Anders but he needs a KO. Hard counter right stings Anders. As does a leg kick. He goes the distance. 30-25 Rountree.
Official result: Khalil Rountree def. Eryk Anders by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Alan Jouban vs. Dwight Grant
Round 1 – Jouban ties up Grant and gets the takedown, but Grant is back to his feet and Jouban just barely misses on the head kick. Two big punches by Grant but he only caught Jouban partially with one of them. Nice leg kick by Grant. Leg kick and two huge shots stun Jouban. Those were clubbing punches. Buckling leg kick by Jouban. Left hook thuds against Jouban’s face. Jouban connects with a left after touching up Grant with a jab. Grant clips Jouban with a wild right hand to end the round. 10-9 Grant.
Round 2 -Big right hand by Grant hurts Jouban as Grant charges forward. Jouban stays calm as they reset. Jouban doing a lot of feinting but not too much throwing right now. Leg kick by Grant, then another as he goes inside-outside. Good left hand by Grant. Jouban sneaks in a right. Jouban is successful on a body kick up to the chest and now there’s a brief clinch. Crowd is restless because not much has happened. 20-18 Grant.
Round 3 – Wicked left hands by Grant. And he lands a leg kick. Jouban clips Grant afterward. Good uppercut up the middle by Grant. Head kick by Grant is blocked. Jouban eats a countershot and for the most part he’s not doing a lot of throwing. Crowd is booing some more. Groin kick on Grant stops the fight for a brief period of time. Yup. No doubt about that one. Fight resumes with just over two minutes left and Grant scores with a couple of outside low kicks. Jouban gets hit over the top with a check hook. Nice leg kick by Jouban. Final minute to go, not a lot of urgency from either man. Jouban with a spinning kick and it was way off. Hard body shot by Grant. Jouban gets the takedown and gets in some nice ground-and-pound to end the fight. 29-28 Grant.
Official result: Dwight Grant def. Alan Jouban by split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Nikita Krylov
Round 1 – Early body kick from OSP, then a leg kick. He comes out firing quickly. Krylov tagging OSP early and often but Ovince gets the takedown. Nikita is back to his feet but is down again. He’s up again but OSP still has a leg. Krylov going for a front choke but doesn’t have it. OSP now against the fence. Excellent trip by OSP but he still can’t control Krylov. Now Krylov tries taking OSP down and that backfires off the whizzer. OSP in half-guard. Looking to go to full mount and he has it. Krylov gives up his back but OSP doesn’t take it, so they’re standing again. Good shots landed by Krylov. Body kick by Krylov. Now they’re up against the fence. OSP may already be tired. Head kick by Krylov just misses. 10-9 OSP.
Round 2 – Jab by OSP after Krylov landed a body kick. Good right hand by Krylov stuns OSP, who ties him up. Krylov stopping the takedown thus far. He takes OSP down and he’s in back mount. Krylov landing an elbow and going for the choke. It’s tight and it’s over.
Official result: Nikita Krylov def. Ovince Saint Preux via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:30 of round 2
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