On Saturday night Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway face off again. This time for the UFC interim – lightweight title. It is over 7 years since their previous meeting and I am not sure that Dustin Poirier’s win on that occasion via submission (triangle arm-bar) is particular relevant or instructive today. They’re both completely different animals, fighting in a completely different weight class.
To say the UFC lightweight division is in a state of disarray is an understatement. Khabib, McGregor and Ferguson are all out of action for the foreseeable future for variety of reasons. All three are still, rather unfortunately, still taking up the lion’s share of the publicity in the division. Most of it for the wrong reasons.
Dana White has been pressuring Max Holloway to move up from featherweight for quite sometime. I get the sense that Max is comfortable at featherweight and the competition therein and has been somewhat reluctant to make the move up. I do understand he has been having problems making the cut in some recent fights, however he is stepping into a lightweight league that is a much deeper division by a distance than the one he is coming from. Much has been made of his outstanding performances in the Aldo fights, but for me Aldo is a busted flush since the 13 sec KO defeat to McGregor. A shadow of his former self.
With the 3 top fighters out of action for awhile to come, this fight with Poirier affords Max a very sizeable opportunity. Should he win on Saturday night he will be guaranteed an immediate shot at the Lightweight title with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The bookies odds across the board have Max Holloway a pretty strong favourite to win this fight.
A quick look at a cross section of the US odds-makers below
This is one of those fights where I feel the bookies are over-pricing the favorite. In fact I would be of the opinion that the odds here should be flipped. Poirier has a very strong record at Lightweight since he made the move up a few years ago. He has come out on top in some pretty savage contests. In that time he has been involved in three, fight of the nights and his most recent victory saw him win performance of the night.
For me, Max Holloway is coming into his first lightweight fight as a bit of an unknown. People naturally assume the additional 10 pounds is going to automatically make him stronger. I don’t see it this way at all. Of course there is the possibility that he will be a stronger entity but I haven’t been able to bring myself around to this way of thinking as of yet. Perhaps Saturday will change my mind.
Recently I have been using a sports book for fight and odds analysis and you can see a comprehensive breakdown of how the professionals are breaking down this UFC 236 main event in the link below.