UFC 236 occurs Saturday night in Atlanta, and you can watch the five-fight principal card reside on ESPN+. The card is ripe with exciting struggles throughout the night, but a majority of fans will likely be most-interested at the event’s final two fights for the interim middleweight and lightweight names.
We already have you covered with in-depth betting analysis on the main and co-main occasion…
Max Holloway & Dustin Poirier Rematch for Lightweight Gold
Can Kelvin Gastelum Steal Israel Adesanya’s Spotlight?
… but that does not mean we still can’t learn a thing or two on the night’s extra 11 struggles!
What follows is a brief breakdown on each matchup at UFC 236 in an effort to discover enough about each fighter to produce a more educated bet on them if your heart needs.
Interim Lightweight Title Fight: Max Holloway (-205) vs. Dustin Poirier (+165)
Poirier was on a war path since returning to lightweight in April, 2015. In general, he’s won eight of the last 10 battles and suffered only one loss (KO into Michael Johnson) along with one no competition in his first fight against Eddie Alvarez. Poirier ranks first among active UFC lightweights in dramatic differential per second at +2.69.
Both Poirier (7.11 strikes per second ) and Holloway (6.9) rank among the top-five highest-volume strikers from the total UFC. Holloway’s quantity is like an avalanche that becomes more-and-more overwhelming as the battle goes on.
Holloway’s last fight was arguably the best championship performance in UFC history. In general, his 290 significant strikes at a struggle broke the UFC championship record.
Holloway opened the week as a -230 favorite, but activity has come in greatly on Poirier ever since.
Interim Middleweight Title Fight: Kelvin Gastelum (+150) vs. Israel Adesanya (-185)
Gastelum was able to record a minumum of one knockdown against former winners Jacare Souza, Michael Bisping, Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort throughout his hellacious run during the middleweight division. His constant barrages of one-two mixtures have been difficult for just about all of his opponents do cope with during his career.
Israel’The previous Stylebender’ Adesanya is a former Glory Kickboxing winner that has rung up a 16-0 record to begin his mixed martial arts career. He will not need anything related to Gastelum — a state championship wrestler in high school — about the ground, but we’ve yet to see some come close to out-classing Adesanya on the feet during his five UFC wins.
Adesanya opened the week as a -175 favorite, but has since transferred to -185 behind the public’s support.
Light Heavyweight Fight: Eryk Anders (-200) vs. Khalil Rountree (+160)
Anders played linebacker under Nick Saban at Alabama from 2006-2009 before starting his mixed martial arts profession. These three of Anders’ livelihood losses have come in his last four fights, but these were two split-decision losses along with one TKO reduction via referee stoppage during his short-notice light heavyweight debut against Thiago Santos, who’ll fight Jon Jones for the division’s championship in July.
Rountree listed the biggest victory of his career at UFC 226 against long-time championship kickboxer Gokhan Saki, but was subsequently knocked out by increasing contender Johnny Walker past November. Rountree’s career striking differential of -0.99 has made it tough for him to win conflicts by any way other than a finish, and he’s accordingly lost both of his career UFC fights who have made it past the first round.
Welterweight Fight: Alan Jouban (-120) vs. Dwight Grant (-110)
Jouban will be giving up a five-inch advantage benefit to Grant. This is uncharted territory for Jouban during his 11-fight UFC profession, but he’s 3-1 in fights with a reach benefit of at least three inches. Meanwhile, the Grant is 1-1 in the UFC with a victory over Carlo Pedersoli Jr. (75-inch reach) and a split-decision loss to Zak Ottow (72-inch reach).
The x-factor in this struggle might end up being volume. Jouban finds himself among the top-10 welterweights in UFC history in knockdowns landed (No. 4), significant strike accuracy (No. 7), strikes landed per second (No. 3) and striking differential (No. 4).
Light Heavyweight Fight: Ovince Saint Preux (-110) vs. Nikita Krylov (-120)
Krylov has literally had a struggle go to the judges in 30 career MMA fights. This includes 10 battles inside the Octagon, that have featured three wins by TKO/KO and three by submission compared to three declines by entry and one by TKO.
This is in fact a rematch from UFC 171, when OSP defeated Krylov by first-round entry. The finish comprised Saint Preux’s signature entry: The Von Flue choke.
UFC 236 Prelims
Lightweight Fight: Jalin Turner (-140) vs. Matt Frevola (+110)
Turner boasts massive elevation (6-foot-3 vs. 5-foot-9) and reach (77 inches vs. 71) advantages over Frevola, although that advantage could be mitigated if the latter fighter can instigate his takedown-heavy attack. Turner was last observed starching Callan Potter in just 53 seconds back in UFC 234 in February.
Flyweight Fight: Wilson Reis (+130) vs. Alexandre Pantoja (-160)
Reis is presently the UFC’s No. 4 ranked flyweight before his bout with fifth-ranked Alexandre Pantoja. Although Reis has dropped three of his past four fights, they’ve come from a high-level competitors such as John Moraga, present flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and former winner Demetrious Johnson. The two Reis (12:08) and Pantoja (11:58) have typical combat times that would indicate we’ll see this fight last to the third round.
Welterweight Fight: Max Griffin (-105) vs. Zelim Imadaev (-125)
Imadaev opened the week with -115 chances. Public assistance has come in on the undefeated Russian, who has won all eight of the struggles by TKO or KO. He is making his debut within the octagon against Max Griffin, who has lost four of his last six fights dating back to August, 2016. There is a bit of terrible blood here, as Griffin sparred with Imadaev once upon a time and had this to say about his competitor…
“He’s an ass, guy. He is not a good man… I really don’t like the man… I’m looking forward to showing him what it is like.”
Bantamweight Fight: Boston Salmon (-150) vs. Khalid Taha (+120)
Boston’Boom Boom’ Salmon has only lost once in seven career conflicts (by split-decision). Salmon won his final fight against Ricky Turcios on the debut episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. He will hold a four-inch height advantage of Taha, who has lost two of his last 3 fights. Backing Salmon in his early -135 odds was among my favorite bets on the card, but he still offers a bit of worth at his present -150 chances.
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UFC 236 Early Prelims
Welterweight Fight: Curtis Millender (+115) vs. Belal Muhammad (-145)
Millender fought just last month in UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. dos Santos, ultimately losing by entry (rear-naked choke) to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Muhammad has also been active, as he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Geoff Neal back in January at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw. Millender boasts three and four inch height and reach advantages, respectively, although Muhammad continues to be much more of a takedown hazard during his UFC career.
Bantamweight Fight: Montel Jackson (-550) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (+375)
Jackson started the week as a -500 favored, but has since moved higher. He’s the largest favorite on the card. Soukhamthath is 13-6 as a skilled and is being fed to Jackson, who has lost just once in eight career bouts.
Women Strawweight Fight: Lauren Mueller (+145) vs. Poliana Botelho (-175)
Both of these women have high striking rates and don’t waste their time getting started. This is very true for Botelho, who notched the third-fastest finish in the history of this UFC women’s branch back in May, 2018.
Bantamweight Fight: Brandon Davis (-170) vs. Randy Costa (+140)
Costa is undefeated in four professional conflicts, while Davis is only 9-5. Both fighters are making a debut of sorts, as Costa will be within the octagon for the very first time in his career, while Davis has seemingly never fought 135 lbs.
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