Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway faced each other on this day exactly two years ago for the interim lightweight title at UFC 236. Poirier battled it out with the then UFC featherweight champion Holloway for five rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Dustin Poirier took the fight to Holloway early on and few would have survived the scares the Hawaiian did in the opening round. While Holloway went on to gain some momentum in the second round, Poirier was precise with his 1-2 combos throughout the night.
Reflecting on his journey with the promotion in the post-fight press conference, Dustin Poirier said -
"Man, this feels amazing. I feel like I’m in a dream right now. I just beat one of the pound-for-pound best in the world. To be the best you’ve got to beat the best and damn I feel good. It’s been a long time, this is my 23rd or 24th fight with Zuffa, I’ve got knocked down, I’ve climbed back up. This is my belt, I earned this in blood, I paid in full. This is mine.”
While Max Holloway had his moments in the second and third rounds, 'The Diamond' never looked to be in serious trouble. Discussing the tough bout with Holloway, Dustin Poirier said-
"He hit me with some big shots but I'm the f---ing champ, man. This is a piece of the world title. I'm the f---ing champ."
Max Holloway was all respect for Dustin Poirier
The pair had met in the octagon before in a featherweight contest at UFC 143. Holloway also lost that matchup after Poirier submitted him in the first-round. Despite suffering another defeat in the rematch, the 'Blessed One' only had respect for his opponent. Refusing to downplay Dustin Poirier's performance, Holloway said -
"I’m not gonna take nothing away from Dustin. He beat a world champ, he is a world champ, there ain’t no interim, he’s the real thing, he beat a world champion."
With the UFC featherweight title in possession, Max Holloway made an unsuccessful bid for a second UFC title by moving up a weight class. Addressing the move to lightweight, Holloway said -
"Nothing was different [in terms of moving up in weight], I felt good. I thought tonight was my night but it didn't go my way. I'm still the champ. Whatever weight [class] gets me closer to that pound-for-pound title, I'm here."