Dustin Poirier scored a unanimous victory over Max Holloway to become the UFC interim lightweight champion on Saturday at UFC 236 in Atlanta.
All three judges scored the bout 49-46.
The electrifying fight saw both fighters trade strikes through all five rounds with neither letting up. Holloway, the UFC featherweight champion, looked outmatched at the start of the bout but bounced back in the later rounds and aggressively pursued Poirier.
Current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is serving a suspension for his role in a post-fight brawl at UFC 229 and the promotion opted to create an interim 155-pound belt in his absence.
Dana White had said he hoped to have the winner of Poirier-Holloway fight Nurmagomedov in September. Following his win, Poirier had a message for the titleholder.
Poirier's record improves to 25-5 with one NC.
Holloway, meanwhile, drops to 20-4 and sees his 13-fight win streak come to an end. Putting together an impressive run that saw him emerge as one of the UFC's top pound-for-pound fighters, he had been undefeated since a 2013 loss to Conor McGregor.