The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Salt Lake City, Utah, this weekend with another action-packed Pay-Per-View event, UFC 291. Headlining the card is a clash between two lightweight warriors, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, as they vie for the prestigious and resurrected “BMF” belt in a highly anticipated rematch.
The main event showcases a fiery rivalry reignited, as Poirier (29-7) and Gaethje (24-4) face off once more, five years after their first meeting. Their initial encounter, back in April 2018, was a grueling four-round battle, with Gaethje seemingly in control until Poirier’s explosive combination in the fourth round secured a TKO victory. Since then, both fighters have been on a similar trajectory, attaining the interim UFC lightweight championship but falling short against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira. Now, with the BMF title on the line, they have the opportunity to stake their claim as the new BMF champion, a coveted title made famous by the retired Jorge Masvidal.
Though the BMF belt may be ceremonial, its significance lies in the potential doors it opens. Both Poirier and Gaethje are within striking distance of a fight with the current UFC lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev. A commanding performance in this high-stakes clash could catapult the victor into the spotlight and put them on the fast track to a championship showdown.
The co-main event promises to be just as interesting, with title implications in the light heavyweight division. Former champion Jan Blachowicz takes on the hard-hitting former middleweight titleholder, Alex Pereira. Blachowicz recently battled to a draw with Magomed Ankalaev, an impressive showing against a younger elite contender. Now, he’s eager to secure a decisive victory and regain his position in the title picture. Pereira, a renowned kickboxing champion, has wasted no time in making his mark in MMA. With only ten professional fights under his belt, he already boasts a UFC belt in a different division and is poised to prove himself in his new weight class. Their clash is likely to serve as a title eliminator, with the winner positioning themselves for a shot at the 205-pound title against the returning Jiri Prochazka.
UFC 291 is set to be a night of intense action, as fighters lay it all on the line for championship glory and recognition. The BMF belt brings an added layer of excitement to the main event, making Poirier vs. Gaethje II a must-see bout for MMA fans worldwide. Salt Lake City’s Delta Center will bear witness to the crowning of a new BMF champion and the rise of a potential title challenger in the light heavyweight division. If we can expect anything from UFC 291 is that both main event fights will be all out wars.
Poirier by TKO
Blachowicz by decision
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