Featherweight champion Max Holloway will move to 155 pounds and face off with Dustin Poirier to crown a new interim lightweight champion at UFC 236 on April 13 from Atlanta.
The surprise matchup was confirmed on Friday night by UFC president Dana White when speaking to ESPN with additional sources also confirming the matchup between Holloway and Poirier.
The matchup came together after lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov made it clear he would not return until after October. Nurmagomedov is currently serving a nine month suspension for his role in a post fight brawl at UFC 229 last October but the undefeated Russian chose to sit out for a full year in solidarity with his teammates who were suspended 12 months.
The UFC then turned to Tony Ferguson with an offer to compete for the interim title but White claims he turned down the opportunity.
That’s when the UFC offered the matchup to Poirier, who has been clamoring for a big fight after turning into a human wrecking ball to tear through Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Pettis in consecutive matchups.
As for Holloway, the reigning featherweight champion will move to 155 pounds for the opportunity to win a second world title while simultaneously attempting to avenge his first defeat in the UFC.
Poirier submitted Holloway all the way back in 2012 when both were competing at featherweight.
Now they meet again with the winner being crowned interim lightweight champion.
Holloway vs. Poirier will headline UFC 236 with the co-main event set as another interim title fight as Kelvin Gastelum faces Israel Adesanya at middleweight.