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UFC 236 live blog: Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier 2

Max Holloway faces off with Dustin Poirier ahead of their interim lightweight championship main event bout at UFC 236 on Saturday at State Farm Arena in Atlanta
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 236 live blog for Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier 2, an interim lightweight championship bout at Saturday’s UFC event at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Holloway, the UFC’s reigning featherweight champion who is unbeaten in his last 13 fights, faces Poirier, who has won nine of his last 10 (excluding one no contest), in the main event.

The two first fought at UFC 143 back on Feb. 4, 2012. Poirier defeated Holloway by first-round submission.

Check out the UFC 236 live blog below.

Round 1: It’s gonna be hard to top the current Fight of the Year that just took place 20 minutes ago, but if anyone can do it, it’s these two gentlemen.

Max comes out tentative and Dustin is the aggressor early. He lands a good low kick. Now Holloway is pressing forward with a good straight to the body, and another. Dustin once again lands a low kick. Dustin land a huge left hand that has Max in full retreat. Up against the cage Max lands a counter that stuns Dustin! Max fires off a combo and Dustin finally gets away. Dustin land a huge right left combo that wobbles max. Dustin has Max against the fence and they are both winging. Anarchy again! Dustin buckles Max’s knees with a knee, now a left. Max is still defending but Dustin’s power is hurting him. This is a madman’s pace. Huge hooks from both men! Max is cleared eyed and Dustin backs off. Max lands a great combo now! HUGE hook from Dustin stumbles Max and then he ragdolls him to the ground. Max is up and eats another big hook. Dustin might be slowing. Another big left from Dustin and another. There’s no way Dustin can keep this pace and Max looks mostly unfazed now. Great right from Max. This evening is a wonder. Head kick from Max that is blocked and the rounds ends.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Poirier.

Round 2: Dustin is spitting a lot. Max looks fine. The cardio is ridiculous. Now Max is pressuring and lands a good straight left. The crowd starts a “Holloway” chant as Dustin is backed up against the fence. Max is starting to work the body and Dustin responds with a leg kick. Max really digging into the body and that is a great strategy. Now Dustin returns in kind but Max won’t let him have the last work. Poirier lands a huge left hook in the clinch and Max is almost exclusively targeting the body. Now Max is talking to Dustin. He’s clearly feeling it but gets jawed by a big left. Max has Poirier’s rhythm down now and is starting to pile up shots. Dustin goes for a takedown but gets stuffed and Max once again works the body. Poirier is doing a good job of using a high Philly shell to block most of Max’s head punches but that body is still being worked over. Huge left hook backs Max up. He claps and gets hit again! Poirier is no wilting lily. Max gets wobbled by a big shot and is in full retreat! Poirier looks bad in there but eats a head kick. on any other night this would already be Fight of the Night.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 for Max Holloway (19-19 overall)

Round 3: We have it one round apiece (though the second certainly could have gone to Poirier for his strong finish). Max is busted up but advancing. Poirier clinches and eats a shot when Max separates. Max is back to his body work and Poirier responds in kind with a pair of body kicks. Max is still advancing but this may be the first time I’ve ever seen him look slowed. The big shots from Poirier have clearly had an effect and now a body kick from Poirier prompts a combo from Max. Dustin is figuring out to evade Max’s blitzing combos and lands a huge pair of hooks and a monster jab! When Max can back Dustin up, he’s drilling him, and that’s starting to happen more frequently. Max is doubling and tripling up on his jab to break timing and it’s working. Max is really pressing forward now and Dustin is noticeably tired.but he snaps Max’s head with a good uppercut. Max is clapping again and keeping up his volume. Poirier is up against the fence and Max is pouring it on! A flying knee from Max gets Poirier in a much needed takedown but Max won’t fall. Big elbows from Max while Poirer holds onto his hips! The tide is certainly turning in this one and the bell sounds with the fighters still against the fence in the clinch.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 for Holloway (29-28 Holloway overall)

Round 4: We enter the championship rounds and Poirer does look refreshed but he’s still backing up. Poirier ducks under a Max straight and secures a takedown against the fence. Max is posting though and it’s only a matter of time before he gets up. Still good for Poirier who needs to shorten this fight. Max is up with Poirier still holding a single. Max uses a guillotine to threaten and then lands a big knee as he separates. Max is relentless and still working the body. Poirier’s hands are coming up much slower and now he’s target practice against the fence!Dustin is clearly exhausted but he fires a great combo that has Max backing away now. The swings in this fight! Max has him against the fence again and is hammering the body. Dustin is doing a good job of avoiding a kill shot but his ribs have to be toast. He can still snap Max’s head back though and he does with a jab. Poirier has completely abandoned his leg and body work and now he’s in full head hunting mode. Poirier looks to be getting a second wind as Max is busted open and pouring blood from the face! Max is talking to him now and lands a huge elbow in the clinch. Dustin ducks down for a takedown and Max has the neck but isn’t going for a choke. The round ends with Poirier holding onto a single leg and Max dropping for an anaconda choke at the bell.

MMAFightins scores the round 10-9 for Poirier (38-38 overall)

Round 5: It’s anybody’s fight heading into the fifth. These rounds are close and either man could be up. Poirier is off his stool early and ready to go. This si the moment he’s waited for his whole life. Have to imagine he’s going to leave everything in there.

There’s spring in Poirier’s step to start the fifth but Max is still the lead. A big left for Poirier lands and another “Holloway” chant starts. Max snaps Dustin’s head back with a sharp jab. Poirier sends spit fling from Max with a huge left hand. Max’s nose is definitely broken but he keeps hammering away with combinations. Poirier is falling behind this round. A good lef from Poirier lands but Max comes back with a three piece, no soda. Dustin lands a pair fo big hooks. When Dustin lands, they are thudding, Maxi is just landing more. Max’s head gets banged around a couple more times but he’s still got Dustin in retreat. The blood might be affecting Max’s vision now. Both men are still wining. Max is landing less than he was before and Dustin backs him up. A big shot has Max reach for the clinch and now Dustin has Max against the cage and working for a double. This may be the first time I’ve ever seen Max Holloway look exhausted. One minute left and the fight is up for grabs. Dustin is around the hips but Max is so tough to tackle. 30 seconds left. The crowd is booing for a separation. Max reverses. For the last five seconds, the two men swing wild hooks but no one lands.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 for Poirier (overall 48-47 Poirier)

Official result: Dustin Poirier wins by unanimous decision (49-46 x3)

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