Max Holloway has been a dominant force at 145 lbs, but he recently failed to defeat Dustin Poirier in his first UFC bout at 155 lbs. According to former title contender Kenny Florian, the UFC 236 main event just showed even more evidence that lightweight is the deepest division in mixed martial arts.
“You look at how damn good Max Holloway is, and how tough this warrior is, I think it’s further proof — and again call me biased because I spent the majority of my career at 155 lbs — but the lightweight division is the toughest division in the whole sport,” he said on a recent Anik and Florian podcast.
“There’s no question about it. You look at all the guys in that weight class, and you compare it to every other weight class, and how stacked it is. You look at all the 55’ers that have done tremendous at 170 lbs.
“As good as Max Holloway is, and he’s certainly one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, he did not beat Dustin Poirier. He just didn’t have enough to do it. And Dustin Poirier is one of five guys that could win that belt.”
Poirier won the interim belt at UFC 236, setting him up for a title unification with Khabib Nurmagomedov down the road. Apart from those two, the lightweight division also has numerous contenders in the mix such as Tony Ferguson, Al Iaquinta, Justin Gaethje, Donald Cerrone, and Conor McGregor.
It’s hard to argue with Florian’s take on just how stacked lightweight is. Welterweight is certainly pretty deep as well though, and while Dana White has been against it, this also further makes a case that there’s clearly enough talent to start a 165 lb division in the UFC.