Dustin Poirier claimed the UFC interim lightweight title in Atlanta after an engrossing encounter with Max Holloway that paves the way for a blockbuster bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
It brought an end to Holloway's 13-fight streak and marked a remarkable rise for one of the sport's hardest workers.
The pair fought to the final bell, going all five rounds. It was scored 49-46 for Poirier.
He immediately called for the lightweight champion next.
Man this feels amazing, I feel like I'm in a dream. To be the best you've got to beat the best. This is my belt, I paid in full, this is mine.
There was a time in that third round I was hurt, but I dug down, and I though fuck it, you've got to put me down. In the words of my friend Daniel Cormier: 'Get your shit together young man, we have a belt to fight for'.
Pure class between Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier after it's all said and done ?
— Watch UFC 236 live on BT Sport 1 HD (@btsportufc) April 14, 2019
In terms of a Poirier Khabib showdown, it's a match-up the Russian seems keen on.
I don’t agree with the judges 49:46, I got a draw, my respect to both fighters, and Porier’s achievement so far cannot be denied, my congratulations Dustin, see you in September. 🦅 vs 💎
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) April 14, 2019