UFC 236 occurs Saturday night in Atlanta, and you can watch the five-fight principal card live on ESPN+. The card is ripe with exciting struggles through the night, however, a vast majority of fans will probably be most-interested in the event’s closing two conflicts for its interim middleweight and lightweight titles.
We already have you covered with comprehensive gambling analysis on the main and co-main event…
Max Holloway & Dustin Poirier Rematch for Lightweight Gold
Can Kelvin Gastelum Steal Israel Adesanya’s Spotlight?
… but that doesn’t mean we still can’t find out a thing or two about the night’s extra 11 struggles!
What follows is a brief breakdown on every matchup in UFC 236 in an effort to learn enough about each fighter to produce a more educated bet on these if your heart needs.
Interim Lightweight Title Fight: Max Holloway (-205) vs. Dustin Poirier (+165)
Poirier has been on a war path since returning to lightweight in April, 2015. Overall, he has won eight of his last 10 battles and suffered only one loss (KO into Michael Johnson) and one no contest in his first fight against Eddie Alvarez. Poirier ranks first among active UFC lightweights in dramatic differential per minute at +2.69.
The two Poirier (7.11 strikes per second ) and Holloway (6.9) ranking among the top-five highest-volume strikers from the total UFC. Holloway’s quantity is similar to an avalanche that becomes more-and-more overwhelming as the battle goes on.
Holloway’s last battle was arguably the best championship performance in UFC history. Overall, his 290 considerable strikes at a fight broke the UFC championship album.
Holloway opened the week as a -230 favored, but action has come in heavily on Poirier ever since.
Interim Middleweight Title Fight: Kelvin Gastelum (+150) vs. Israel Adesanya (-185)
Gastelum was able to record at least one knockdown against former champions Jacare Souza, Michael Bisping, Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort throughout his hellacious run during the middleweight division. His constant barrages of one-two combinations have been hard for just about all his opponents do deal with throughout his career.
Israel’The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya is a former Glory Kickboxing champion who has rung up a 16-0 record to start his own mixed martial arts profession. He will not want 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 throughout his five UFC wins.
Adesanya started the week as a -175 favorite, but has since moved up 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 career. All three of Anders’ livelihood losses have come in his last four fights, but those were two split-decision losses combined with a single TKO reduction via referee stoppage during his short-notice light heavyweight introduction against Thiago Santos, who will fight Jon Jones for the division’s championship in July.
Rountree recorded the biggest success of his career at UFC 226 against long-time championship kickboxer Gokhan Saki, but has been pumped out by rising contender Johnny Walker last 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 has consequently lost both of his career UFC fights that have made it beyond the first round.
Welterweight Fight: Alan Jouban (-120) vs. Dwight Grant (-110)
Jouban will be providing up a five-inch reach advantage 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) plus a split-decision reduction to Zak Ottow (72-inch reach).
The x-factor within this struggle might wind up being quantity. Jouban finds himself among the top-10 welterweights in UFC history in knockdowns landed (No. 4), significant strike accuracy (No. 7), strikes per second (No. 3) and striking differential (No. 4).
Light Heavyweight Fight: Ovince Saint Preux (-110) vs. Nikita Krylov (-120)
Krylov has quite literally never had a fight go to the judges in 30 career MMA fights. Including 10 battles inside the Octagon, that were showcased three wins by TKO/KO and three by entry compared to three declines by entry as well as one by TKO.
This is actually a rematch from UFC 171, when OSP defeated Krylov by first-round entry. The finish featured Saint Preux’s signature submission: 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) benefits over Frevola, although that edge could be mitigated when the latter fighter can instigate his takedown-heavy assault. 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 lost three of his last four fights, they’ve come from a high-level competitors like John Moraga, current flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and former champion Demetrious Johnson. Both Reis (12:08) and Pantoja (11:58) have average combat times that would indicate we will see this battle last to the next round.
Welterweight Fight: Max Griffin (-105) vs. Zelim Imadaev (-125)
Imadaev opened the week with -115 odds. 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 inside the octagon against Max Griffin, who has lost four of his last six fights dating back to August, 2016. There is a bit of bad blood , as Griffin sparred with Imadaev once upon a time and had this to say about his competitor…
“He is an ass, guy. He is not a good man… I really don’t like the guy… I am excited about showing him what it’s 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 about the debut episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. He’ll maintain a four-inch height advantage of Taha, who has dropped two of his last 3 fights. Backing Salmon at his ancient -135 odds was among my favourite stakes on the card, but he still offers a little bit of worth at his current -150 odds.
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UFC 236 Historical Prelims
Welterweight Fight: Curtis Millender (+115) vs. Belal Muhammad (-145)
Millender fought just last month at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. dos Santos, ultimately losing by submission (rear-naked choke) into 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 four and three inch height and reach advantages, respectively, though Muhammad has been a lot more of a takedown threat throughout his UFC career.
Bantamweight Fight: Montel Jackson (-550) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (+375)
Jackson started the week as a -500 favorite, but has since moved higher. He’s the biggest favorite on the card. Soukhamthath is 13-6 as a professional and is being fed to Jackson, who has dropped just once in eight career bouts.
Girls Strawweight Fight: Lauren Mueller (+145) vs. Poliana Botelho (-175)
Both these women have high striking rates and do not waste their time getting started. This is particularly true for Botelho, who notched the third-fastest finish in the history of the UFC women’s division back in May, 2018.
Bantamweight Fight: Brandon Davis (-170) vs. Randy Costa (+140)
Costa is undefeated in four professional fights, while Davis is only 9-5. Both fighters are making a debut of sorts, as Costa will probably be within the octagon for the very first time in his career, while Davis has seemingly never fought at 135 lbs.
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