UFC 236 has come and gone and that means that two new interim champions were crowned.
In the main event of that fine evening in Atlanta, Georgia, we saw a highly anticipated rematch that saw current UFC featherweight king, Max Holloway return to lightweight for the first time since 2011. Standing across from him was the first man to ever defeat him, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier.
Like the first encounter seven years prior, the action would see Poirier getting the best of his Hawaiian counterpart. Only this time it would be an elongated war until the final bell.
The result crowns Poirier the new interim lightweight champ while Holloway remains the undisputed king at 145-pounds. Thus begging the question; who’s next for him upon his return to his division?
Well, if former lightweight champion and two-time featherweight title challenger, Frankie Edgar has anything to say about it… It’s obviously him.
“I think everybody knows it (the next featherweight title shot) should go to me,” Edgar told ESPN. “Even the guys who want the shot, you [hear] them say, ‘Well, I know Frankie should get it, but…’ You know? Alexander Volkanovski is fighting Jose Aldo in a few weeks and that may have an impact, but I think everybody knows it’s me. I’ve worked my entire career for it to be me.
“The fact I put it on the line the last time Max and I were supposed to meet up, that holds some weight. I know the UFC likes to reward people who are willing to just let it fly. I’ve done that my whole career. I’m ready for that reward.”
Edgar and Holloway have been scheduled to face off twice now with each time seeing one of them pull out due to injury. In the latter occasion, which saw Holloway injured, Edgar would instead take on Brian Ortega who spoiled the party by knocking out the former champion in just one round. It was the first time he’d ever been finished.
Since then, Edgar has rematched and defeated Cub Swanson for a second time while he was then matched with Chan Sung Jung for UFC Denver’s main event. That was until he was replaced by Yair Rodriguez due to a torn bicep.
For Holloway, he has fought Ortega and Poirier directly following his Edgar fight bookings. With the most recent being that loss to Poirier, it was, of course, something that caught Edgar’s attention.
“I was wondering how Max would do with a guy who was bigger and you saw in the fight Dustin was bigger,” Edgar said. “Max had the height on him, but Dustin’s weight was a big part of that win. Max couldn’t push him back the way he’s pushed some other guys. I learned a little bit here and there but not much. I’m a different fighter than Dustin.”
With the aforementioned Jose Aldo vs Alexander Volkanovski bout going down in the UFC 237 co-main event on May 11, who knows exactly how things will play out at 145-pounds going forward.
Drake Riggs is an MMA writer who specializes in feature pieces, the women's fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided MMA, The Body Lock, Cageside Press, Sherdog, and MMA Today. He is also a longtime fan of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.