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Fights To Watch Before UFC 236

Look Back At Eight Stand-Out Fights From The Stars Of UFC 236

On Saturday the Octagon touches down in Atlanta for the first time in nearly three years, featuring two exciting interim title fights. UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will move up to lightweight to take on the determined and dangerous Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 236. These two stars fought seven years ago with Poirier earning the victory, but plenty has changed. Now Holloway and Poirier will run it back for the lightweight interim strap.

Gold is also on the line in the co-main event, as middleweights Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya are set to duke it out for the interim title. Gastelum nearly had his shot at champion Robert Whittaker before a freak injury put the champ out of commission, now he is ready to finally have his chance at UFC 236. The undefeated Adesanya envisioned his rise to the top of the fight world and now "The Last Stylebender" is here.

Get ready for UFC 236 by watching the past performances of some of the cards biggest stars and prospects. Watch the collection here: https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-236-fights-to-watch

Max Holloway vs Jose Aldo 2
UFC 218 - December 2, 2017
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 2: (R-L) Jose Aldo battles Max Holloway during the UFC 218 event at Little Caesars Arena on December 2, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Beating the greatest featherweight champion of all-time in convincing fashion is tough to do. At UFC 218 Max Holloway took full-advantage of the opportunity to reinforce that first victory over Jose Aldo with another legendary performance.

Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje
UFC Glendale – April 14, 2018
GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 14: (R-L) Dustin Poirier punches Justin Gaethje in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at the Gila Rivera Arena on April 14, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“The Diamond” versus “The Highlight” more than lived up to the hype, as both fighters delivered a gritty and incredible performance in what was one of the best fights of 2018.

Kelvin Gastelum vs Jacare Souza
UFC 224 – May 12, 2018
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - MAY 12: Ronaldo Souza ( R) of Brazil controls the body of Kelvin Gastelum of the United States in their middleweight bout during the UFC 224 event at Jeunesse Arena on May 12, 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

After an important win over a former champion, Gastleum needed a big win over a top contender. That challenge came in the form of veteran Jacare Souza. It was a back and forth affair in which Gastelum and Souza battled it out to the final bell rang in Rio.

Israel Adesanya vs Derek Brunson
UFC 230 – November 3, 2018
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: (L-R) Israel Adesanya of Nigeria kicks Derek Brunson in their middleweight bout during the UFC 230 event inside Madison Square Garden on November 3, 2018 in New York, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“The Last Stylebender” has made the most of every opportunity that the UFC has presented him, and that didn’t change when he faced top-10 middleweight Derek Brunson. Adesanya shined under the bright lights at Madison Square Garden and secured a win that propelled him into title contention.

Eryk Anders vs Tim Williams
UFC Lincoln – August 25, 2018
LINCOLN, NE - AUGUST 25: (R-L) Eryk Anders kicks Tim Williams in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Pinnacle Bank Arena on August 25, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Guys like Anders and Williams don’t go away easy, so when these two middleweights collided it was an absolute brawl that ended in emphatic fashion.

Khalil Rountree Jr. vs Gokhan Saki
UFC 226 – July 7, 2018
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07: Khalil Rountree Jr. punches Gokhan Saki of Turkey in their light heavyweight fight during the UFC 226 event inside T-Mobile Arena on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Sometimes things go according to plan in a fight. For Rountree Jr., his fight against Gokhan Saki at UFC 236 couldn’t have gone any better.

Alan Jouban vs Ben Saunders
UFC Orlando – February 24, 2018
ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 24: (L-R) Alan Jouban kicks Ben Saunders in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Amway Center on February 24, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Bouncing back is important in this business, and Alan Jouban did that in a big way against the tough Ben Saunders.

Jalin Turner vs Callan Potter
UFC 234 – February 10, 2019
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 10: (L-R) Jalin Turner punches Callan Potter of Australia in their lightweight bout during the UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena on February 10, 2019 in the Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Turner recently decided to make the drop down from welterweight to lightweight, and it paid dividends right away at UFC 234. “The Tarantula” delivered a spectacular performance against newcomer Callan Potter.

Watch the full UFC 236 collection on UFC Fight Pass:  https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-236-fights-to-watch

The UFC 236 early prelims begin at 6:15pm/3:15pm ETPT on UFC Fight Pass, followed by the UFC 236 prelims on ESPN at 8pm/5pm ETPT.

The UFC 236 main card will air live on PPV at 10pm/7pm ETPT.

Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com, follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCNews