Betting on UFC 236 – Latest Odds and Initial Preview

| March 28, 2019 12:00 am PDT

Betting on the UFC can be a little tricky sometimes.

However, when it comes to certain fighters, backing against them becomes almost unthinkable.

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has become one of those guys.

Having cleaned out the 145-pound division since his last loss to Conor McGregor in 2013, Holloway now fancies a shot at establishing himself as the man to beat at lightweight.

A win in his lightweight debut will earn him the UFC interim lightweight championship and a claim to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s title.

Many believe that Holloway can get the job done on April 13.

The fighter tasked with bringing the exceptionally talented Hawaiian back down to earth is none other than Dustin Poirier. “Diamond,” as Poirier is known in the promotion, beat Holloway in 2012 and will be confident of being the first man to beat him in six years.

In this UFC 236 preview, I will break down the fight a little and identify where the value is when betting on this bout.

That said, UFC betting sites will surely see a lot of betting action on UFC 236 but not just for the highly anticipated main event.

In the co-main, a UFC interim middleweight championship bout between Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya is also a potential fight-of-the-year candidate.

This USA vs. New Zealand clash features two of the most explosive middleweights on the planet right now. Both Gastelum and Adesanya have been tipped to rule over the 185-pound division in the future, so, this bout could be the first step towards potential greatness.

As if these two fights weren’t enough, there are also a few other crackers set to go down at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, on the night.

UFC betting doesn’t get any better than this, right?

Keep reading for a look at UFC 236 odds for the fights on the main card and a little preview of each one.

Latest UFC 236 Betting Odds

All the UFC 236 odds listed below are from They were accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.

Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier

Max Holloway-265
Dustin Poirier+205

Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Israel Adesanya-210
Kelvin Gastelum+170

Eryk Anders vs. Khalil Rountree Jr.

Eryk Anders-160
Khalil Rountree Jr.+130

Ovince Saint Preux vs. Nikita Krylov

Ovince Saint Preux-140
Nikita Krylov+110

Bovada’s odds on UFC 236 indicate that these are four fights that are far from easy to predict.

Holloway vs. Poirier will be a very intriguing contest given that the UFC featherweight champion is untested at lightweight in the promotion.

Adesanya is widely touted as a future superstar, yet Gastelum has the power to knock anyone out cold.

Eryk Anders and Khalil Rountree Jr. could very well be the fight of the night, while Ovince Saint Preux vs. Nikita Krylov is one of the best matchups at light heavyweight.

If you’re betting on UFC 236, you’ll probably want to take a little closer look at these fights.

That’s what I’m here for.

Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier

UFC 236 boasts a main event clash between featherweight champion Max Holloway (-265) and perennial lightweight contender Dustin Poirier (+205).

Holloway has three losses in the UFC to date. The first defeat he suffered under the UFC banner was against Poirier in his promotional debut on the undercard of UFC 143, in 2012.

As such, this contest does have a little bit of extra spice to it.

According to the oddsmakers, Holloway is the clear favorite in this bout. His exceptional record and status as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet certainly makes him a candidate for the future king of the lightweight division, so why not?

Before throwing all of your money on Holloway, it is important to know that Poirier is a solid, tough, and talented 155’er. He is improving with age and has racked up a pretty impressive record over the past few years.

Since a loss to Michael Johnson in September 2016, Poirier has beaten former UFC lightweight champions Anthony Pettis and Eddie Alvarez.

He has also stopped the incredibly tough Justin Gaethje. Add a win over Jim Miller, and you have four wins out of five bouts, with the remaining fight (first bout against Alvarez) ending in a No Contest decision.

There is no doubt that Poirier is someone who is often slept on. Given his high work ethic, toughness, and strong skill set, he is a threat to anyone.

Who Has the Momentum?

Both fighters are certainly at the top of their respective games right now.

Poirier still has a lot to offer at just 30 years old. He is really finding himself and has been knocking on the door of UFC President Dana White for a title shot for some time now.

It’s insane to think that Max Holloway is just 27 years old.

Since that loss to Conor McGregor in 2013, “Blessed” has inflicted nothing short of warfare on the 145-pound division, cleaning it out in the process.

The UFC featherweight champion absolutely dominated Jose Aldo — the man who is regarded as the greatest 145-pound fighter of all time — not just once, but twice.

When the unbeaten Brian Ortega was given the title shot, many believed he would have too much for the Hawaiian. Holloway absolutely battered him towards a doctor’s stoppage.

Holloway has 13 consecutive wins, with 10 stoppages following his defeat against McGregor.

Anyone who has backed against Holloway since August 18, 2013, has lost their money. Every. Single. Time.

Will this fight be tough for the featherweight king? Absolutely.

Can Poirier beat him? Anything can happen when the gloves are on and the cage closes.

However, Max Holloway is one of those fighters that doesn’t come along very often, and I believe we are yet to see the full extent of his talents.

Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Kelvin Gastelum (+170) was gearing up for his shot at the UFC middleweight title at UFC 234.

Then, an abdominal injury suffered by Robert Whittaker all but ended that.

Israel Adesanya (-210) and Anderson Silva were pushed to the main event, and the New Zealand star overcame the Brazilian legend to find himself within touching distance of his own title shot.

Of course, the UFC saw the opportunity to match these two guys up for an interim title, and here we are.

Styles make fights, as the old saying goes, so this one will certainly be a fight.

Adesanya is one of the most technically sublime strikers operating in MMA these days and boasts a perfect 16-0 record in the sport. In the UFC, he is 5-0, with wins over the likes of Silva, Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, Marvin Vettori, and Rob Wilkinson.

There is little doubt that Gastelum (15-3-1 NC) is a considerable step up in class for “The Last Stylebender.”

Adesanya has never faced a fighter with such a strong grappling background as Gastelum. He will need to be careful with how he plays this one out if he is to win.

Wrestler vs. Grappler?

On paper, this one certainly has that feel to it.

Gastelum is without a doubt more than just a wrestler, as we have seen him knock fighters out cold with his heavy hands.

Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy will certainly attest to the American’s power, that’s for sure.

Where things get difficult for Gastelum in this fight is finding range against an opponent as talented on his feet as Adesanya is. A stocky and slower wrestler-puncher style fighter will always have trouble working out an elusive kickboxer that has an exceptional sense of distance and range.

That said, Gastelum’s experience is greater than Adesanya’s in the promotion, and he has a better resume, even if he has suffered losses in the past.

Gastelum has beaten the likes of Bisping, Kennedy, “Jacare” Souza, and Johny Hendricks throughout his UFC career. He will not fear Adesanya and will do everything in his power to negate the New Zealander’s ability to express himself.

This one looks a lot closer than the oddsmakers would have you believe.

Eryk Anders vs. Khalil Rountree Jr.

Eryk Anders (-160) is the bookies’ favorite over Khalil Rountree Jr. (+130) on the night.

Both men enjoy similar records in MMA, and this fight should make for an intriguing contest.

Anders and Rountree are coming off losses — to Elias Theodorou and Johnny Walker, respectively — and will be desperate to get back in the winning column in this fight.

Much like the Adesanya vs. Gastelum bout, this is a grappler vs. striker scenario that can also come down to both men trading on their feet.

Anders is prone to standing in front of fighters and can be sloppy at times when resetting or retreating following a strike or combination. This is a bad idea against a fighter like Rountree, who has the power to end the contest quickly.

His victories over Paul Craig and Gökhan Saki showed that he will punish anyone who gives him the opportunity to do so.

If Rountree can stay busy and keep the pressure on Anders, he could certainly walk away with the win.

Evenly Matched?

You could say that.

On paper, Anders is the smarter of the fighters. Rountree has been accused of being one dimensional and predictable throughout his UFC career, which can work against him when it comes to a fighter like Anders.

Rountree’s tendency to throw one-twos and lack of angles make him a fairly straightforward proposition for any fighter that does their homework before meeting him inside the cage.

That said, Anders tends to lose focus at times, and if he takes his eyes off Rountree, it could be the end of the night.

Rountree’s brutal knockout at the hands of Walker will probably see him play a little safer against Anders, but at the same time, Anders has nowhere the devastating power of the 6’6” Brazilian wrecking ball.

Ovince Saint Preux vs. Nikita Krylov II

Ovince Saint Preux (-140) and Nikita Krylov (+110) could potentially put on an incredible fight.

This will be the second time the fighters have met in the UFC.

Back in 2014, Saint Preux ended the contest via a Von Flue choke in the first round. Krylov would then embark on a five-fight win streak that was snapped by Misha Cirkunov in September 2016.

Following a stint in Russia, Krylov returned to the UFC (in Moscow, of all places) in September 2018.

It wasn’t a happy return for the 27-year-old, as Poland’s Jan Błachowicz subbed him in the second round of the contest.

However, against “OSP,” Krylov has the chance to get back in the winning column.

A Tough Contest for Both Men

It certainly looks that way on paper.

Saint Preux is coming off a loss against Dominick Reyes heading into this fight and will be gunning to get back to winning ways.

Since his three-fight streak in 2017, the 35-year-old has failed to win back-to-back fights.

Prior to his loss to Reyes, he submitted Tyson Pedro. Before that win, he was subbed by Ilir Latifi.

Although Krylov is a tough competitor and one that can cause OSP a whole heap of trouble, he will feel confident in getting the win on the night.

Saint Preux is the bookmakers’ favorite, just about, and will be hoping to show the world that he is far from a spent force in the UFC light heavyweight division.

Krylov will have other ideas.

What a fight this should be.

UFC 236 Betting – Final Thoughts

This card looks set to be one of the best of the year so far.

As such, betting on UFC 236 is set to be popular among MMA punters. Given that Max Holloway, Dustin Poirier, Israel Adesanya, and Kelvin Gastelum are featuring in two separate title fights, all eyes will be on Atlanta, Georgia, on April 13.

Here at, we will be breaking down Holloway vs. Poirier II and Adesanya vs. Gastelum before UFC 236. You will find betting tips and crucial analysis ahead of the action.

To get your hands on UFC betting advice, odds, and previews from our experts — plus much, much more — stay tuned to our blog.

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA and boxing.

A self-confessed sports fanatic, when Adam is not watching and writing about rugby, soccer, Gaelic Games, and F1, he can often be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a big fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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