Leading up to the UFC 236: “Holloway vs. Poirier 2” pay-per-view (PPV) event on ESPN+, which took place last Sat. night (April 13, 2019) inside State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia (live results here), just about every mixed martial arts (MMA) website had similar posts.
Conor McGregor predicts winner of Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier rematch.
Conor McGregor reacts to winner of Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier rematch.
Conor McGregor eats a bologna sandwich, doesn’t realize it has a first name.
Both Holloway and Poirier were defeated by “Notorious,” so there is certainly some merit to his insight on UFC 236. But those wins came back in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and all three fighters are in much different places.
And here’s what’s comical about those MMA fans who claimed UFC 236 was headlined by McGregor’s sloppy seconds: it’s 2019 and Holloway is the reigning featherweight champion, while the “Eagle”-bound Poirier is the current interim lightweight champion.
McGregor is nothing.
That’s because he was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 last October. Prior to that, he was finished by Floyd Mayweather in their celebrity boxing match in summer 2017. The last time we’ve seen the Irishman get his hand raised was after his first-round shellacking of Eddie Alvarez back in late 2016.
I don’t know what kind of combat sports fan could watch UFC 236 and not feel excited about the lightweight division, or marvel at what Poirier has been able to accomplish through what appears to be pure will. I had “The Diamond” written off in the wake of his knockout loss to Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 94.
Since then, Poirier has gone 5-0 (1 NC) in a run that features wins over three former lightweight champions. In addition, he’s racked up five straight performance bonuses, including four “Fight of the Night” honors. Outside of the cage, he runs a pretty successful charity that helps schools, children, and just about anyone else in need.
I mean, holy shit, what more can we ask from a fighter?
McGregor, meanwhile, has been arrested twice in the last year and is dealing with some pretty unflattering headlines. That’s unfortunate, because he was (and probably still is) a special fighter with unique talents.
But “Notorious” doesn’t want to compete unless it’s on his terms, which is why he’s appeared just once over the last two and a half years. That’s certainly his right and no doubt he can afford it, I just think there’s nothing left to talk about.
What McGregor is doing outside the cage has proven to be infinitely less interesting than what every other top lightweight is doing inside it, and even though it’s my job to write what people click on, I can’t imagine I’m the only one who’s ready to move on.
Dustin Poirier is the new UFC interim lightweight champion. Khabib Nurmagomedov is the reigning 155-pound kingpin. Tony Ferguson is (still) a top contender. Al Iaquinta is ranked No. 4 and has won six of his last seven. There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the 155-pound weight class.
And a lot to forget.
For complete UFC 236 results, including recaps, highlights, and live play-by-play updates of all the hard-hitting action, head over to our “Holloway vs. Poirier 2” live results stream by clicking here.