Dustin Poirier will battle Justin Gaethje in a rematch to determine a new “BMF” champion in UFC 291’s main event, which takes place in Salt Lake City on July 29.
UFC president Dana White announced the matchup along with the rest of UFC 291’s main card and two preliminary fights on Tuesday. It marks the second consecutive year for the UFC to take a card to Utah, after UFC 278 previously landed there in August 2022 with a card headlined by a welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman.
UFC 291 sees Poirier and Gaethje clash again after they first met in a bout that won MMA Fighting’s 2018 Fight of the Year. On that night, Poirier earned a fourth-round TKO. Now Gaethje looks for revenge as the lightweights run it back in a five-round main event.
With Jorge Masvidal retired, White announced that the UFC’s “baddest motherf*****” title is up for grabs again, with Poirier and Gaethje now fighting for that honorary belt in July.
The co-main event pits Jan Blachowicz against Alex Pereira as the former UFC middleweight champion makes his move up to 205 pounds. Blachowicz had been angling for a chance to move down to 185 pounds for a potential rematch against reigning champion Israel Adesanya, but now he’ll get Pereira instead.
One-time middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa also makes his second straight appearance in Salt Lake City as he takes on Ikram Aliskerov in an interesting matchup at 185 pounds. Aliskerov just made his debut at UFC 288, where he knocked out Phil Hawes in the first round. Now the Dagestani fighter takes a considerable step up in competition to face Costa.
Also on the card, Tony Ferguson makes his return to action in a lightweight bout against Bobby Green. Ferguson looks to stop his five-fight losing skid, while Green has gone 2-2 with one no contest in his past five fights.
The matchup also serves as Ferguson’s first appearance since he was arrested on charges of driving under the influence in Los Angeles on May 7.
Rounding out the main card, Michael Chiesa clashes with Kevin Holland in a battle of grappler versus striker, as both fighters look for a high-profile win. Most recently, Holland dispatched Santiago Ponzinibbio with a brutal third-round knockout at UFC 287 in April, while Chiesa has been out of action since November 2021, when he dropped his second fight in a row with a loss to Sean Brady.
Two fights also announced for the prelims see Derrick Lewis return to action against Marcos Rogerio de Lima, and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson take on Michel Pereira in a matchup between two creative strikers at 170 pounds.
UFC 291 takes place at the Delta Center in Salt Like City. More fights are expected to be added in the coming weeks.
Updated UFC 291 fight card:
- MAIN EVENT: Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje
- Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira
- Paulo Costa vs. Ikram Aliskerov
- Tony Ferguson vs. Bobby Green
- Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Holland
- Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson vs. Michel Pereira
- Derrick Lewis vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima