Kids no more: How Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier have grown up since their first fight

The first time they fought, Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier were practically kids. At UFC 236, they’ll have the rematch under very different circumstances.

Holloway, the reigning UFC featherweight champion, is moving up a division to run it back with Poirier on Saturday night in Atlanta, this time with the interim lightweight title on the line. For Holloway (20-4 MMA, 16-4 UFC), it’s a chance to reach new heights and become just the fourth simultaneous UFC champ in history. For Poirier (24-5 MMA, 16-4 UFC), it’s a long time coming, his first title shot – finally – in his 22nd UFC appearance.

But about that first encounter: Feb. 4, 2012 at UFC 143. Holloway and Poirier were just 20 and 23, respectively, and it was Holloway’s UFC debut. “Blessed” showed some promising striking early on, but Poirier eventually took Holloway down to the mat and submitted him in the first round.

It’s been seven years since that night in Las Vegas. And while that’s not a lot in actual years, it feels like ages ago when you consider how much Holloway and Poirier have grown and matured since then.

Watch the video above to hear MMA Junkie lead staff reporter John Morgan’s reflection on the fighters’ journeys to UFC 236.

For more on UFC 236, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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