It’s hard to argue with the promotion’s logic in electing to hand out a pair of “Fight of the Night” bonuses at UFC 236.
With interim gold on the line in both the headliner and the co-main event, Dustin Poirier, Max Holloway, Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum made Saturday an evening to remember, combining for 50 jaw-dropping minutes of action in Atlanta. As a result, both Poirier vs. Holloway and Adesanya vs. Gastelum garnered “Fight of the Night” honors, and all four men walked away with $50,000 bonus checks.
Poirier relied on his superior power to get the best of Holloway in the main event, taking a unanimous decision over the reigning featherweight king to capture the interim 155-pound crown. Poirier had to battle through Holloway’s trademark volume-based attack in the later rounds, but he was able to survive to end the Hawaiian’s 13-bout winning streak.
Adesanya, meanwhile, needed all 25 minutes to dispatch Gastelum in the evening’s co-main event, and he was able to claim interim middleweight gold on the strength of a fifth stanza that saw him score a trio of knockdowns and attempt a pair of submissions en route to a unanimous decision triumph. The body of work from both combatants, however, is what stands out as a “Fight of the Year” candidate.