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UFC 236: Holloway vs Poirier II Odds and Picks

For the first time since 2016, the UFC heads to Atlanta, Georgia, as the Octagon will be set up at State Farm Arena for UFC 236: Holloway vs Poirier II. The featherweight champion, Max “Blessed” Holloway, is moving up to fight for the interim lightweight title and is a -205 favorite. Meanwhile, Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier beat Holloway in 2012 but is a +165 underdog.

Also on this card is an interim middleweight title match between Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya (-185) and Kelvin Gastelum (+150). I have a breakdown and pick for each fight on the main card.

Shark Bites
  • Max Holloway has won 13 straight fights, 10 of which were finishes.
  • Dustin Poirier is 8-1-1 in his last 10 fights, with six wins by knockout.
  • Max Holloway averages 6.9 significant strikes per minute.

Holloway vs Poirier II Fight Center

Scott Hastings’ 2019 Prediction Record To Date
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Max Holloway vs Dustin Poirier

Holloway (-205) is looking to extend his 13-fight winning streak in his new division as he moves up from featherweight to lightweight. During the streak, 10 fights were finishes, nine by knockout and one by submission. Overall, the Hawaii native has a record of 20-3 with 10 wins coming by knockout.

The 27-year-old is the definition of a brawler, getting in his opponents’ faces and putting on a pace that is unmatched in the UFC. Holloway has incredible hand speed and continuously peppers his foes with strikes until they wilt under his pressure. Blessed averages 6.9 significant strikes per minute and has landed 100 or more significant strikes in four of his last five fights, including 307 against Brian Ortega at UFC 231.

Poirier (+165) has finally earned his title fight after eight years in the UFC, during which he has a 16-4-1 record, and is unbeaten in his last five scraps. The Louisiana native has been close to title fights previously but would seemingly always lose to future challengers. Following three straight knockout wins, though, he has put himself in line for the interim lightweight strap.

Much like his counterpart, the Diamond loves to get into wild, high-octane scraps. The 30-year-old is a very technically sound striker, rarely putting himself in much danger by keeping his guard high, and has great footwork while landing an average of 5.59 significant strikes per minute. Additionally, he does have a wrestling pedigree as well and averages 1.75 takedowns per 15 minutes, but typically he keeps the fights standing.

It’s unfortunate we have to wait until the end of the card to watch this potential war but it’ll be worth it. Holloway absorbs strikes but just walks right through the punches and looks completely unfazed while he swarms his foes until they crumble. Meanwhile, Poirier is probably better technically but I don’t know if he will be able to create much distance for some breathing room. Poirier beat Holloway in Blessed’s Octagon debut in 2012 by first-round submission. I expect a different result this time around.

Prediction: Max Holloway (-205) via decision

For more on this fight check out my odds analysis article

Holloway vs Poirier Fight Center

Israel Adesanya vs Kelvin Gastelum

Adesanya (-185) is looking to remain undefeated in his professional career and in the UFC. It took just over a year for “The Last Stylebender” to earn a title fight following his debut as he has rattled off five straight wins since February 10, 2018. Most recently, he beat Anderson Silva at UFC 234 by unanimous decision. Overall, the Nigeria native is 16-0 with 13 wins coming by knockout.

As you could have probably assumed by his record, Adesanya is a fantastic striker who can be compared to Anderson Silva in his prime. The 29-year-old has a fantastic ability to judge distance and range, being able to pick apart his opponents when they enter his space while dodging their attempted strikes. He makes his foes miss 69 percent of their strike attempts while landing 4.47 significant strikes per minute.

Gastelum (+150) is looking for his first three-fight winning streak since he began his UFC career with five wins in a row. His last two wins were a first-round knockout of former middleweight champion Michael Bisping and a split-decision win over Jacare Souza.

The California native is a well-rounded fighter who can put together crisp combinations or drag the fight to the floor. Gastelum has a 15-3 record with six wins coming by knockout, four by submission and five by decision. Although he has a wrestling pedigree, he hasn’t landed a takedown in any of his last six fights dating back to 2015. Like his counterpart, Adesanya, he has good defensive boxing, absorbing just 2.87 significant strikes per minute, and makes his opponents miss 61 percent of their attempts.

Adesanya stands seven inches taller and has an 8.5-inch reach advantage. Gastelum’s path to victory is on the floor in grappling exchanges, but I don’t know if he can get in close enough to get his hands on the Last Stylebender without eating some heavy shots.

Prediction: Israel Adesanya (-185) via decision

For more on this fight check out my odds analysis article

Adesanya vs Gastelum Fight Center

Eryk Anders vs Khalil Rountree Jr.

Anders (-200) is aiming to put an end to his first-ever losing streak and limit it to just two. “Ya Boy” began his UFC career winning three of his first four but has dropped back-to-back bouts, most recently falling by split decision to Elias Theodorou at UFC 231. Overall, the 31-year-old is 11-3 with seven victories coming by knockout.

The Philippines native has extreme power and he constantly stalks his opponent looking to corner them so he can land his heavy hands. His defense is suspect at best. He has very little head movement and has OK footwork to avoid strikes, but he still absorbs more significant strikes than he dishes out. However, Anders also is a good wrestler, averaging 2.05 takedowns per 15 minutes.

Rountree (+160) is looking to get back in the win column following his first-round knockout loss to Johnny Walker in November last year. That defeat put an end to a four-fight unbeaten streak for “The War Horse” during which he had three wins by knockout and one fight ended in a no contest. The 29-year-old is 7-3 overall with five wins coming by knockout.

The California native is predominantly a counter-striker, standing just outside the range of his opponents and baiting them into throwing an attack so he can look for a place to land his powerful left hand. Rountree throws a lot of feints and uses a lot of head movement to make his opponents flinch or throw strikes out of defense. Despite all his movement, though, he still absorbs 3.28 significant strikes per minute.

This could be one of those “don’t blink” fights with both competitors having true one-punch knockout power. Rountree has the better head movement and footwork compared to Anders, who leaves his head in one place for the entire fight, but Ya Boy has a much better wrestling pedigree that could really change the fight.

Prediction: Khalil Rountree Jr. (+160) via knockout

Anders vs Rountree Fight Center

Alan Jouban vs Dwight Grant

Jouban (-120) returns to the Octagon for the first time since he earned a second-round knockout over Ben Saunders more than a year ago. That victory snapped a two-fight losing slide and he is now looking to string together wins for the first time since 2016. “Brahma” holds a record of 16-6 with 11 of his triumphs coming by knockout.

The 36-year-old has good kicks and is a very active fighter, constantly bouncing around looking for entries to also land his solid punches. He does a very good job at chopping down his opponent’s lead leg, which gives him a massive speed advantage as the fight drags on, and he averages 5.41 significant strikes per minute.

Grant (-110) is looking to string together consecutive wins in the UFC after dropping his debut but earning a first-round knockout his last time out. That knockout was the seventh of his nine pro wins. His loss to Zak Ottow in his UFC debut was just the second in his pro career, with both defeats coming by decision, in this case a split decision.

“The Body Snatcher” is primarily a counter fighter staying far away from his opponents, simply waiting for them to approach him so he can storm forward looking to land a powerful combination. He does a good job at avoiding strikes as well, as his opponents miss 68 percent of their strike attempts against. Grant doesn’t do a good job checking kicks, but he does fire back instantly with his powerful hands.

Two powerful strikers will go to war in this fight in a classic aggressor vs counter-striker matchup. It will be interesting to see how Grant handles the leg kicks that Jouban will surely be sending his way, but Brahma will also have to make sure he keeps his hands high when he throws those kicks or else he could be knocked out.

Prediction: Dwight Grant (-110) via knockout

Jouban vs Grant Fight Center

Ovince Saint Preux vs Nikita Krylov

Saint Preux (-110) is looking to continue his win-one, lose-one streak over his last four fights as he’s coming off a decision loss to Dominick Reyes at UFC 229. Before this most recent defeat, “OSP” had earned a first-round submission win over Tyson Pedro, his fourth submission victory in the UFC and seventh overall. The 36-year-old holds a 23-12 record overall with 11 wins by knockout and seven by submission.

The Florida native is a strong fighter for the light heavyweight division and when he gets his hands on his opponents, the fight typically hits the floor. OSP is a fairly calm fighter, seemingly using very little energy looking to throw the haymaker strike to end the fight rather than setting it up properly. Additionally, he has very good kicks and uses them well when the fighters are at long distance.

Krylov (-120) returns to the Octagon looking for his first win there since 2016 when he knocked out Ed Herman. “The Miner” lost his next UFC fight to Misha Cirkunov and then had a three-year hiatus from the UFC – during which he fought four times – before returning to the organization last September when he was submitted by Jan Blachowicz in the second round. Three of his four defeats in the UFC have come by submission.

The Ukraine native is an aggressive fighter with all 24 of his professional wins being finishes, 10 by knockout and 14 by submission. He is a great striker, averaging 5.59 significant strikes per minute, while only absorbing 2.62 significant strikes per minute. The biggest issue for Krylov is that he looks a little lost on his back, which is not good against a strong submission artist like OSP.

The main card ends with a rematch between Holloway and Poirier and also opens with a rematch between OSP and Krylov. Saint Preux won the first meeting back at UFC 171 in 2014 by – surprise, surprise – submission. The Ukraine native has to find a way to keep the fight standing because if it hits the floor, I think OSP dominates the bout.

Prediction: Ovince Saint Preux (-110) via submission

Saint Preux vs Krylov Fight Center

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for UFC 236: Holloway vs Poirier II:

UFC 236: Holloway vs Poirier II Betting Odds
  • Max Holloway -205
  • Dustin Poirier +165
Odds as of April 12 at Bovada
  • Kelvin Gastelum +150
  • Israel Adesanya -185
  • Eryk Anders -200
  • Khalil Rountree Jr. +160
  • Alan Jouban -120
  • Dwight Grant -110
  • Ovince Saint Preux -110
  • Nikita Krylov -120
  • Jalin Turner -140
  • Matt Frevola +110
  • Wilson Reis +130
  • Alexandre Pantoja -160
  • Max Griffin -105
  • Zelim Imadaev -125
  • Boston Salmon -150
  • Khalid Taha +120
  • Curtis Millender +115
  • Belal Muhammad -145
  • Montel Jackson -550
  • Andre Soukhamthath +375
  • Lauren Mueller +145
  • Poliana Botelho -175
  • Brandon Davis -170
  • Randy Costa +140