(Courtesy of UFC)
The UFC returns to Atlanta with two title fights as reigning featherweight champion and No. 4-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world Max Holloway moves up in weight to take on No. 3-ranked lightweight contender Dustin Poirier. Also, top middleweight contenders clash as No. 4-ranked Kelvin Gastelum and No. 5-ranked Israel Adesanya vie for their first gold strap this Saturday, April 13 only on ESPN+ Pay-Per-View.
Gastelum was supposed to have already fought for the undisputed middleweight title held by champion Robert Whittaker, but was derailed the day of their fight when Whittaker had to be rushed into an emergency dual surgery because of a hernia and collapsed bowel.
With Whittaker out of action for the next few months, the UFC moved swiftly to put Gastelum in a fight for an interim version of the title.
Adesanya and Anderson Silva stepped up when Whittaker dropped off the bill to give the Australian fans a UFC 234 main event. Though Silva fought a solid fight, Adesanya lived up to his promise leading the next wave of middleweight contenders.
After Adesanya defeated Silva, the UFC matched Gastelum and Adesanya for the belt in the UFC 236 co-main event, which takes place on Saturday in Atlanta.
Though Gastelum has been a contender for the belt much longer than Adesanya, oddsmakers aren’t betting that he’ll walk away with the belt on Saturday.
MMAWeekly.com odds partner MyBookie, as of Monday, has Adesanya in the cat bird’s seat to win the fight at -175 to Gastelum’s +145.
Whether that carries through to the fight remains to be seen. Before they fight in the cage, check out the behind-the-scenes look at Gastelum and Adesanya’s preparations in Countdown to UFC 236.