The UFC is set to introduce another interim championship with a report that Max Holloway will move up to lightweight and fight Dustin Poirer at UFC 236 in April.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports that the featherweight champion will come up in weight to meet Poirier for an interim title at 155 pounds while champion Khabib Nurmagomedov remains on the sidelines.
The fight is set to headline UFC 236 on Saturday, April 13th from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on the same card where Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya will fight for an interim middleweight championship.
UFC president Dana White spoke to ESPN and added that perennial lightweight contender Tony Ferguson was offered the fight and turned it down for undisclosed reasons.
Holloway and Poirier fought at UFC 143 in February 2012 in Holloway’s UFC debut with Poirier submitting the future featherweight champion in the first round. Holloway will enter this rematch on a 13-fight winning streak that dates to January 2014. Poirier is unbeaten in his last five fights and is coming off stoppage victories over Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, and Eddie Alvarez.
The ESPN report stated that Holloway will hold onto his featherweight title while moving up to fight for the interim title in the lightweight division.
For his role in the UFC 229 brawl with Conor McGregor’s corner, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was suspended for nine months retroactive to October and fined $500,000 by the Nevada Athletic Commission. The champion had the option to shave off three months of the suspension if he filmed a PSA but intends to sit out until his teammates, Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov, are eligible to fight after their respective suspensions that last until October.