In the future, every other fighter on the UFC roster will hold an interim championship belt. I know this from the simple math of THE UFC HANDING THESE INTERIM BELTS OUT LIKE CANDY.
Take, for instance, the middleweight division. Champ Robert Whittaker was viciously attacked by granpa’s hyena, so sure, he can’t defend his belt. So top challengers Israel Adesyana and Kelving Gastelum are going to fight for an interim middleweight belt and wait patiently for Whittaker to recover.
That’s all understandable. But now, with lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov on ice for a bit (Nevada State Athletic Commission suspension, plus there’s Ramadan, which always has him on the sidelines), the UFC will have featherweight champ Max Holloway face Dustin Poirier for the interim 155-pound title.
WTF? Why? Is there really a pressing need to have someone at lightweight defending some sort of gold? See, this baffles me. Anyway, here’s ESPN with the announcement:
An interim lightweight title fight between featherweight champion Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier will headline UFC 236 on April 13, UFC president Dana White told ESPN on Friday.
The UFC 236 pay-per-view event will take place at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. An interim middleweight title fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya will serve as the co-main event.