It seemed as if interim championships were on their way out as several were vacated or abandoned, but injuries and suspensions to Robert Whittaker and Khabib Nurmagomedov have forced the company’s hand.
Many expected former interim champion Tony Ferguson to be back in the title fold while Khabib was on the shelf and suspended, but personal issues have prevented that. Instead, an interim championship will be established, with Featherweight Champion Max Holloway moving up to take on Dustin Poirier for the right to face Nurmagomedov.
Much of the same is unfolding at Middleweight. Robert Whittaker had a recent surgery that has him sidelined, but both Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya lay claim to the top contender spot. They’ll do battle at UFC 236 for that interim title.
Elsewhere on the show, Ovince Saint Preux and Nikita Krylov will run back their fight from five years ago.