UFC 236 pre-event facts: Israel Adesanya can join exclusive group of undefeated champions
The UFC makes its return to Atlanta after nearly three years Saturday with UFC 236. The event takes place at State Farm Arena with the main card set to air on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.
For the first time in company history, two interim title belts will be on the line on the same card. In the main event, featherweight champ Max Holloway (20-3 MMA, 16-3 UFC) moves up a division to rematch Dustin Poirier (24-5 MMA, 16-4 UFC) for the interim lightweight title. And in the co-headliner, Kelvin Gastelum (15-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) takes on the undefeated Israel Adesanya (16-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) for the interim middleweight strap.
Although the two contests hold the spotlight at UFC 236, there’s more to the card, as well. For all the numbers behind the UFC’s third pay-per-view of the year, check below for 65 pre-event facts.
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Holloway owns or is on the verge of owning several key UFC records, which can be viewed in his complete career stat sheet.
Poirier competes in his first UFC title bout in his 22nd octagon appearances. Only Michael Bisping (26) has had more fights before his first title opportunity.
Poirier is 8-1 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in April 2015.
Poirier has earned all five of his stoppage victories since returning to the lightweight division by knockout.
Poirier’s 16 victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied with Holloway for second most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (22).
Poirier’s 11 stoppage victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied for second most in the company behind Cerrone (16).
Poirier’s six knockout victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Melvin Guillard (seven) and Edson Barboza (seven).
Poirier lands 7.11 significant strikes per minute in UFC lightweight competition, the second best rate in divisional history behind Justin Gaethje (8.50).
Poirier out lands his opponent by a +2.69 significant strike differential in UFC lightweight competition, the best rate in divisional history.
Poirier’s 174 significant strikes landed against Justin Gaethje at UFC on FOX 29 are third most in a UFC lightweight fight behind Nate Diaz’s 238 at UFC 141 and Tony Ferguson’s 199 at UFC Fight Night 98.
Poirier is one of three fighters in UFC history to earn two or more submission victories by D’Arce choke. Ferguson and Vicente Luque also accomplished the feat.
Gastelum becomes the 14th winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series to fight for a UFC title.
Gastelum is to 3-1 (with one no-contest) since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in December 2016. He’s 5-1 (with one no-contest) in the organization at 185 pounds.
Gastelum has earned 10 of his 15 career victories by stoppage.
Gastelum has landed eight knockdowns in his past seven fights. He’s never suffered a knockdown during his middleweight career.
Adesanya can become the 10th fighter in UFC history to win a title with an undefeated record.
Adesanya’s 16-fight MMA winning streak is the longest among active UFC middleweights.
Adesanya’s five-fight UFC winning streak in middleweight competition is tied with Antonio Carlos Junior for the second longest active streak in the division behind Robert Whittaker (eight).
Adesanya was one of two fighters with four UFC victories in 2018. Thiago “Marreta” Santos also accomplished the feat.
Adesanya has earned 13 of his 16 career victories by stoppage. All those wins are by knockout.
Adesanya defends 69.1 percent of all opponent significant strike attempts in UFC middleweight competition, the best rate in divisional history.
Remaining main card
Eryk Anders (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) returns to the light heavyweight division after a one-fight stint at middleweight. He’s 0-1 in the weight class under the UFC banner.
Anders is 1-3 in his past four fights after starting his career on a 10-fight winning streak.
Alan Jouban (16-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), 37, is the oldest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.
Jouban returns to competition for the first time since Feb. 24, 2018. The 413-day layoff is the longest of his more than eight year career.
Jouban is one of two fighters in UFC history to earn two knockout victories stemming from standing elbow strikes. Travis Browne has also accomplished the feat.
Dwight Grant (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) makes his second UFC appearance in a 49-day stretch. He earned a victory at UFC on ESPN+ 3 on Feb. 23.
Ovince Saint Preux (23-12 MMA, 11-7 UFC) competes in his 19th UFC light heavyweight bout, tied for the fourth most appearances in divisional history behind Jon Jones (20), Ryan Bader (20) and Rashad Evans (20).
Saint Preux’s 11 victories since 2013 in UFC light-heavyweight competition are the most in the division.
Saint Preux’s nine stoppage victories in UFC light heavyweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Jones (10).
Saint Preux’s four submission victories in UFC light heavyweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Jones (five).
Saint Preux’s three submission victories by Von Flue choke are the most in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce combined organizational history.
Saint Preux’s three submission victories by Von Flue choke are the most in UFC history.
Saint Preux has earned three of the five Von Flue choke submissions in UFC history. Jason Von Flue and Jordan Rinaldi scored one each.
Saint Preux’s two technical submission victories in UFC competition are tied for second most in company history behind Frank Mir (three).
Saint Preux vs. Yushin Okami at UFC Fight Night 117 was just the second fight in modern UFC history to feature zero combined significant strike attempts. Ilir Latifi vs. Cyrille Diabate at UFC on FUEL TV 6 was the other.
Saint Preux’s six fight-night bonuses for UFC light heavyweight bouts are tied for third most in divisional history behind Jones (eight) and Mauricio Rua (eight).
Nikita Krylov (24-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC) was unsuccessful in his return to the UFC for a second stint at UFC Fight Night 136 in September.
Krylov is 9-3 since he dropped to the light heavyweight division in March 2014.
Krylov has earned all 24 of his career victories by stoppage. He’s finished 20 of those wins in Round 1.
Krylov’s 25-second knockout at UFC on FOX 10 marked the fastest finish stemming from a head kick in UFC history.
Krylov lands 5.89 significant strikes per minute in UFC light heavyweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.
All 30 of Krylov’s career bouts have ended in a stoppage.
Jalin Turner (8-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC), 23, is the youngest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.
Turner has earned all seven of his career victories by stoppage.
Matt Frevola (6-1-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC) is winless in his past two fights after starting his career on a six-fight winning streak.
Wilson Reis (23-9 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is 6-4 since he dropped to the UFC flyweight division in August 2014.
Reis’ 43 takedowns landed in UFC flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Demetrious Johnson (58).
Reis lands 5.6 takedowns per 15 minutes of fighting in UFC flyweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.
Max Griffin (14-6 MMA, 2-4 UFC) is 1-3 in his past four fights dating back to October 2017.
Boston Salmon (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since July 11, 2017. The 641-day layoff is the longest of his more than five year career.
Curtis Millender (17-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) makes his second UFC appearance in a 35-day stretch. He suffered a loss at UFC 235 on March 9.
Belal Muhammad (14-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) has earned 10 of his 14 career victories by decision. That includes four of his five UFC wins.
Montel Jackson (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) submission victory at 1:40 of Round 1 at UFC 232 marked the second fastest D’Arce choke finish in UFC history.
Andre Soukhamthath (13-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC) is the only fighter in UFC history to land three knockdowns in a fight and lose a decision. The feat happened in his UFC Fight Night 114 bout against Alejandro Perez.
Soukhamthath’s three knockdowns landed at UFC Fight Night 114 are tied for the most in a bantamweight fight.
Poliana Botelho (7-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) moves up to the UFC women’s flyweight division after spending her previous octagon appearances at strawweight.
Botelho’s 33-second knockout at UFC Fight Night 129 marked the fastest stoppage in UFC strawweight history.
Brandon Davis (9-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) drops to the bantamweight division for the first time. He’s previously competed as high as lightweight.