We have a very odd Pay Per View ahead of us this weekend for the UFC in Atlanta. We have two great “Title” fights and some other solid fights, but the “Title” fights are for Interim belts for a variety of reasons. So some of the shine has been taken off the event because of that interim label. Here is my preview of the top 3 fights on the card for UFC 236.
Eryk Anders vs. Khalil Roundtree
This should be a banger ladies and gentleman. Both of these guys love to stand and trade so this could be a fight of the night candidate. Anders is a pit bull and loves to come after you and try to wear you down. Roundtree is a little more methodical and has explosive power. So this is a very hard fight to predict.
I think Anders will get him to a tough spot in the ring in the second round at some point and get him out of there.
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya
For the Interim Middleweight Championship we have two of the best fighters in the UFC. Kelvin Gastelum who has fought legend after legend and worked his way to the top the hard way vs. the brash Israel Adesanya, the kickboxer who inspires visions of Bruce Lee. This will be Adesanyas 6th fight in a year and they are clearly pushing him due to his fighting style and ability on the mic. He is a stand up fighter who has incredible distance control and very solid take down defense. Adesanya will come with many different attacks and angles and make it very hard for Kelvin all night.
Kelvin comes from a wrestling background but he likes to bang as well. He has incredible power, as shown by knockouts of Michael Bisping, Vitor Belfort, Tim Kennedy. He has shown trouble with length though in his loss to Neil Magny, so it will be interesting to see if he tries to use his offensive wrestling against Adesanya.
I do think Adesanya will be able to keep him at distance and win a decision over a tired Gastelum after 5 rounds.
Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier
This Interim Lightweight Championship fight is already a candidate for Fight of the Year. Two absolute warriors who will stop at nothing to win this fight. They have met before a long time ago in Holloway’s first fight in the UFC. Dustin won that fight by submission, but since then both fighters have evolved. Dustin went up to Lightweight and became a top ten killer, and Max went on to win 13 straight fights and become the great Featherweight Champion of all time. That run by Max was capped by a Hall of Fame performance against Brian Ortega.
So, these are two different guys and this will look a lot different than the fight 7 years ago.
Both of these guys come forward and have incredible Boxing and Cardio. I just think that the pace Max is going to set is going to too much for almost anyone in the division. Dustin will hang with him for a couple rounds but Max will start pulling away later on. I think Max wins this fight by decision and Challenges Khabib in the ring.
I hope everyone enjoys these incredible fights!
*My pound for pound list can be found here.