After a week off UFC 236 happens this weekend from Atlanta. Two interim title fights with the headliner being current UFC Featherweight champion Max Holloway taking on Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title. The co-main event will be for the interim middleweight championship as Israel Adesanya takes on Kelvin Gastelum. This is a really interesting card, and I’ve made quite a few lineups. There are a lot of live dogs in this one as I’ll get to in a bit, but I will say this. Do not be surprised if the winning lineup has a lot of salary to spare. Just keep in mind that if you have $1000 or $800 in remaining salary, you don’t have to spend it. Sometimes people make the mistake of where they have $700 or so in remaining salary, and they take a fighter out of their lineup for a more expensive one and it ends up being a costly mistake. Just be aware.
Montel Jackson $9400 – I don’t see why he’s the top priced guy to be honest, and I may have him in one lineup due to his opponent’s poor fight IQ, but Soukamthath is no slouch.
Israel Adesanya $9200 – Adesanya possesses a tremendous reach advantage and is the superior striker. I’ll have him in a few lineups but I’ll probably have more of Kelvin Gastelum. If Gastelum touches him with that left hand (which I see him doing) it will be a bad night for the Last Stylebender. This is a big step up in competition for him, and while he has the skills to get it done, so does Gastelum.
Max Holloway $9100– I will more than likely have more of Poirier in my lineups that Max. Max could get the job done, but he’s moving up in weight and he does take a considerable amount of shots…Poirier is a solid striker and pretty durable with a solid ground game. I’m not counting Poirier out at all. Forget the time they fought years ago, because they are completely different fighter now.
Holloway / Poirier – For reasons stated above.
Wilson Ries / Alexandre Pantoje – I love this matchup, both great grapplers and I think the winner will score well with transitions, takedowns, etc. Reis is getting up there in age but still landed 7 takedowns in his last contest. Interesting fight for sure.
Ovince Saint Preux / Nikita Krylov – Once you think OSP is on the decline he comes up big, and with that being said Krylovis looking for some revenge here. This fight is lined rather close considering that OSP finished him via Von Flue Choke back in March of 2014. Something tells me this fight isn’t going the distance, so I’ll have a little bit of both.
Jalin Turner $8400 – We get Jalin Turner at a moderate price, coming off an impressive performance, rebounding from a loss in his UFC debut to Vicente Luque. Turner is long, and knows how to use his length. His opponent, Matt Frevola is coming off an ok performance over Lando Vannata, which went to a draw. I like Turner here, I think he overwhelms Frevola and gets a finish.
Khalil Rountree $7200 – Out of all the fighters mentioned above the 9K price point, the only one I didn’t mention was Eryk Anders. Anders was a little too hyped too early, and frankly Rountree is the much better striker and can put your lights out in a hurry. Can Anders get this to the mat? Possibly, but I like how Rountree has improved and at $7200 I like him a lot. I just think Khalil is the more polished fighter here. Him at this price against Anders is insane to me.
Dustin Poirier $7100 – For reasons stated above…
Kelvin Gastelum $7000 – I think Kelvin is going to ruin a lot of moneyline parlays on Saturday night. Kelvin hits hard, he’s dropped everyone in the division. Israel Adesanya has been knocked out before, just watch him in Glory. I will say this again, Israel has not faced a complete fighter like Gastelum.
Lauren Mueller $7300 – I’ll have some of Lauren in my lineups, I think she’s a tough opponent for Botelho, who pretty much got exposed in her last fight.
Andre Soukhamthath $6800 – If Andre can fight a smart fight, and not be so hesitant, Andre is capable of pulling the massive upset. Andre is a better fighter than his record indicates, and has the tools to get the win here. I won’t have a lot of him, but I will have some.