Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier
|Date & Time||Saturday April 13, 2019, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
State Farm Arena
The Line: Holloway -234 / Poirier +206 -- Over/Under:
Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier fight Saturday during UFC 236 at the State Farm Arena.
Max Holloway enters this fight with a 20-3 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Holloway has won his last 13 fights and is coming off a December win over Brian Ortega. Holloway is averaging 6.9 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 46 percent. Holloway is averaging 0.32 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 83 percent. Holloway is coming off a striking clinic in which he put together ridiculous combinations and forced a doctor stoppage knockout at the end of the fourth round. Holloway was flawless at controlling the distance, landing multiple shots for every one his opponent landed and preventing takedowns to give Ortega a chance of getting back in the fight. Holloway also showed his toughness, as he ate some clean strikes himself and kept coming forward with no issue. If anybody had questions about Holloway being in the best ever pound for pound conversation, those concerns are silenced now. Holloway is one of the most well conditioned fighters in the sport who has proven he can be aggressive from start to finish, and he has a come forward pressure style that usually drowns his opponent with overwhelming strikes. Holloway also has a takedown defense of 83 percent, so he usually forces his opponent to fight his style. Nobody has been able to beat Holloway yet on his feet. This will be Holloway’s first career fight in Georgia.
Dustin Poirier enters this fight with a 24-5 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Poirier has won five of his last seven fights and is coming off a July win over Eddie Alvarez. Poirier is averaging 5.59 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. Poirier is averaging 1.75 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Poirier has to be a confident fighter entering this bout considering he has wins in each of his last three bouts and beat two incredible strikers in Justin Gaethje and Anthony Pettis. Those wins can do wonders for Poirier in this rematch against Holloway, as he’s already passed the test against some of the best standups in the sport. Poirier is an underrated striker, as he lands some violent hooks with one-punch knockout potential and has the occasional leg kick that can do it’s fair share of damage, just ask Yancy Medeiros. Poirier is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jits, and while he doesn’t have a takedown in his last two fights, he does some of his best work on the ground and it’s where he’d have an edge in this fight yet again. Either way, Poirier is an exciting fighter who has earned performance bonuses in four of his last five fights. This will be Poirier’s first career fight in Georgia.
There’s reason to consider Poirier and the plus money considering he beat Holloway back in 2012 and absolutely dominated him on the ground with an armbar and a triangle choke. A lot of fighters have tried to beat Holloway at his own game, and it’s damn near impossible with his conditioning and the amount of strikes he throws. Poirier is somebody who could actually try to mix it up and drag the champion into deep waters on the canvas. With that said, that fight was over seven years ago and Holloway was a wet behind the ears kid. Holloway is obviously a much more polished fighter at this stage, better at stuffing takedowns (which we saw in his last fight) and makes his opponent pay for any mistakes standing up. Even in the first meeting, Holloway was having his way with Poirier striking wise, so I can only imagine how things will be now with him having a better understanding of how to use his length to his advantage.
I understand if you see value in Poirier and the plus money, but I can’t bet against Holloway.