UFC 236 takes place Saturday night in Atlanta, and you’ll be able to watch the five-fight principal card live on ESPN+. The card is ripe with fascinating fights throughout the night, but the majority of fans will likely be most-interested at the event’s final two conflicts for the interim middleweight and lightweight titles.
We have you covered with comprehensive 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 doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or 2 on the night’s additional 11 fights!
What follows is a short breakdown on each matchup in UFC 236 in a bid to learn enough about every fighter to produce a more educated wager on them if your heart desires.
Interim Lightweight Title Fight: Max Holloway (-205) vs. Dustin Poirier (+165)
Poirier was on a war path since returning to lightweight in April, 2015. Overall, he has won eight of his last 10 fights and suffered just one loss (KO into Michael Johnson) along with one no contest in his first fight against Eddie Alvarez. Poirier ranks first among busy UFC lightweights in striking differential per second at +2.69.
The two Poirier (7.11 strikes per minute) and Holloway (6.9) ranking among the top-five highest-volume strikers from the entire UFC. Holloway’s quantity is similar to an avalanche that becomes more-and-more overwhelming as the battle continues.
Holloway’s last battle was arguably the finest championship performance in UFC history. Overall, his 290 considerable strikes at a fight broke the UFC tournament record.
Holloway opened the week as a -230 favorite, but activity has arrived in heavily on Poirier ever since.
Interim Middleweight Title Fight: Kelvin Gastelum (+150) vs. Israel Adesanya (-185)
Gastelum managed to record at least one knockdown against former winners Jacare Souza, Michael Bisping, Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort during his hellacious run during the middleweight division. His constant barrages of one-two combinations have been difficult for practically all of his opponents do deal with throughout his career.
Israel’The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya is a former Glory Kickboxing winner that has rung up a 16-0 record to start his own mixed martial arts profession. He will not want anything to do with Gastelum — a state championship wrestler in high school — on the floor, but we have yet to see someone come close to out-classing Adesanya on the feet during his five UFC wins.
Adesanya opened the week as a -175 favored, 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 in Alabama from 2006-2009 before starting his mixed martial arts career. These three of Anders’ livelihood losses have come in his last four fights, but these were just two split-decision losses combined with one TKO reduction via referee stoppage during his short-notice light heavyweight introduction against Thiago Santos, who will fight Jon Jones for the branch’s championship in July.
Rountree listed the biggest success of his career at UFC 226 against long-time championship kickboxer Gokhan Saki, but was subsequently knocked out by rising contender Johnny Walker past November. Rountree’s career striking differential of -0.99 has made it tough for him to win fights by any way other than a conclusion, and he’s accordingly lost both of his career UFC fights who have made it beyond the first round.
Welterweight Fight: Alan Jouban (-120) vs. Dwight Grant (-110)
Jouban will be giving up a five-inch reach advantage to Grant. This is uncharted territory for Jouban throughout his 11-fight UFC profession, but he’s 3-1 in conflicts with a reach advantage 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 achieve ).
The x-factor within this fight could wind up being quantity. Jouban finds himself one of the top-10 welterweights in UFC history in knockdowns landed (No. 4), significant strike precision (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 quite literally had a fight go to the judges in 30 career MMA fights. This includes 10 battles inside the Octagon, which were showcased three wins by TKO/KO and three by entry compared to three losses by entry and one by TKO.
This is in fact a rematch from UFC 171, when OSP defeated Krylov by first-round submission. The end 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 height (6-foot-3 vs. 5-foot-9) and reach (77 inches vs. 71) advantages over Frevola, but that edge could be mitigated when the latter fighter is able to instigate his takedown-heavy attack. Turner was last observed starching Callan Potter in only 53 seconds back at UFC 234 in February.
Flyweight Fight: Wilson Reis (+130) vs. Alexandre Pantoja (-160)
Reis is currently the UFC’s No. 4 ranked flyweight ahead of his departure with fifth-ranked Alexandre Pantoja. Although Reis has dropped three of his past four fights, they have come against a high-level competitors such as John Moraga, current flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and former winner Demetrious Johnson. Both Reis (12:08) and Pantoja (11:58) have average fight 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 the last six fights dating back to August, 2016. There is a little bad blood here, as Griffin sparred with Imadaev once upon a time and had this to say about his opponent…
“He’s an ass, man. He is not a good guy… I don’t like the man… I’m 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 fights (by split-decision). Salmon won his last fight against Ricky Turcios about the debut episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. He will hold a four-inch height benefit of Taha, who has dropped two of his last three fights. Backing Salmon at his ancient -135 odds was one of my favourite bets on the card, but he still offers a bit of worth at his current -150 chances.
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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, finally losing by submission (rear-naked choke) into Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Muhammad continues to be busy, 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, although Muhammad has been a lot 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 even higher. He’s the largest favorite on the card. Soukhamthath is 13-6 as a professional and has been fed to Jackson, who has dropped only once in eight career bouts.
Girls Strawweight Fight: Lauren Mueller (+145) vs. Poliana Botelho (-175)
Both these girls 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 this 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 just 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 apparently never fought at 135 pounds.
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