Two Titles On The Line at UFC 236
The UFC is coming to Atlanta, Georgia for UFC 236. The card has shaped up to be a potential classic, especially when you consider the co-main and main event. These two fights will be for the Interim Middleweight championship and Interim Lightweight Championship respectively.
In the Middleweight division we are treated to a fight between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum. Both athletes have been active in their careers, but Adesanya is fighting for the 6th time in less than 18 months. Adesanya is undefeated in the UFC and is coming off of a victory over none other than former Middleweight Kingpin Anderson Silva. Gastelum is coming off of back to back victories against Ronaldo Jacare Souza and former champion Michael Bisping.
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Current Champion Robert Whittaker was on a tear on his way to the top of the Middleweight division, but recently has hit a snag health wise and has been out of commission. Most recently he was slated to meet Kelvin Gastelum but the fight was pulled due to health complications with Whittaker. Also on that card was Israel Adesanya. His fight with Anderson Silva was moved to the main event. After defeating Silva, and Gastelum without a dance partner a decision was made to have these two battle it out to see who gets a shot at Whittaker when he returns.
As far as the fight goes, it should be a great one. On paper Adesanya has the advantage on the feet, however Gastelum has never been stopped on the feet. Gastelum has a rock solid chin and power punches that typically are targeting his opponent’s head. Adesanya is riding a rightfully deserved hype train, going as far as calling out Jon Jones for a potential fight. This might be one of the best Interim fights in UFC history.
Another historical Interim fight takes place in the main event slot. For the Lightweight Interim championship Max Holloway will clash with Dustin Poirier. This will be the second time these two have met inside the octagon. Early in both careers they met at Feathweight and Poirier was able to secure a submission finish. Holloway went on to win that divisions title, where Poirier moved to Lightweight and worked his way to the top of the heap.
Current Lightweight Champ Khabib is still serving his suspension for his role in the melee after his bout with McGregor. This opens the door for either Holloway or Poirier to punch their ticket for a fight with the champ. Both fighters have improved immensely and are sure to put on an action packed show for the main event. Here is a quick hype video to set the tone for you courtesy of the UFC’s YouTube channel.
Althought some people scoff at the idea of Interim belts, it is very clear that these two main event fight are a notch above a regular UFC bout. Each current champ is out, and a #1 contender must emerge. The winners of tonight’s card will be able to punch that ticket and earn their shot to become UFC Champion.
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