DUSTIN POIRER snapped Max Holloway’s 13-fight win streak to claim the UFC interim lightweight title in Atlanta.
Poirier outpointed a bloodied Holloway at UFC 236 after having the featherweight champion repeatedly hurt within the opening two rounds.
After beating “Blessed” for the second time, Poirier told the world he is ready for a unification showdown with lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Poirier said: “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 f*** it, you’ve got to put me down.
“In the words of my friend Daniel Cormier: ‘Get your s*** together young man, we have a belt to fight for’.”
It marked the first time Holloway fought at 155lb – an occasion meant to showcase his ability beyond what he could while stripping down to featherweight.
But Poirier’s strength and power was too much for the featherweight king in the opening two rounds, repeatedly hurting Holloway with shots over the top.
Holloway was able to survive a first round onslaught after a left hand by “Diamond” sent his Hawiaan opponent reeling back in all kinds of trouble.
The relentless pressure did not stop there and this time it was a right hand of Poirer’s that had the favorite on the verge of unconsciousness.
Holloway, though, remained in the contest and in the third and fourth round enjoyed more success as his renowned stamina allowed him the opportunity to put Poirer under pressure against the cage.
A vicious knee from Poirier cut Holloway leaving him both bloodied and brusied – though it did not stop the 27-year-old from charging forward.
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However, the featherweight champ did not have enough power to put a dent in a tired Poirier, who by round five had recovered enough to secure the win with a big effort in the final stanza.
Poirier stole Holloway’s chance to become a two-weight belt holder and looks to be in line for a September unification showdown with Nurmagomedov.
Seven years on from first losing to Poirer, Holloway said after the fight: “I’m not gonna take anything away from Dustin, congrats brother.”