Taking place at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, UFC 291 promises to be a thrilling card with a lineup of stacked fights. However, there have been some last-minute changes due to unforeseen circumstances. The Stephen Thompson vs Michael Pereira bout was canceled as Pereira failed to make weight. Nevertheless, the replacement fight between Derrick Lewis and Marcos Rogerio de Lima is sure to bring the heat. Other exciting matchups include Tony Ferguson vs Bobby Green and Michael Chiesa vs Kevin Holland.
Leading the main event is Dustin Poirier, with an impressive record of 29 wins and 7 losses. Poirier has been on a relentless quest to climb back to the top of the rankings. In his last six fights, he has emerged victorious four times, with notable wins over the likes of Conor McGregor, Dan Hooker, and most recently, Michael Chandler. However, Poirier has also faced tough losses at the hands of Charles Oliveira and the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov. His well-rounded skills make him a dangerous opponent, with 47% of his wins coming by way of knockout, 19% via submission, and 34% by decision. While he is known for his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expertise, it is Poirier’s striking that has set him apart from his rivals.
On the other side of the Octagon stands Justin Gaethje, boasting a record of 24 wins and 4 losses. Gaethje’s recent journey has been turbulent, with a 2-2 record in his last four fights, with losses to both Charles Oliveira and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Gaethje secured a majority decision victory over Rafael Fiziev in March 2023, and he is eager to bounce back in this crucial bout. Gaethje’s striking skills are his main weapons, responsible for 70% of his wins by way of knockout. However, his wrestling background from college should not be underestimated and could play a pivotal role in his strategy against Poirier.
Another exciting matchup on the UFC 291 card features Alex Pereira, known for his devastating knockout power. With a record of 7 wins and 2 losses, Pereira has seen success in ending fights early, with 70% of his victories coming by knockout. Pereira famously squared off against Israel Adesanya in the middleweight division, winning their first encounter by technical knockout in the fifth round. However, Adesanya emerged victorious in their latest meeting with a knockout in the second round. Pereira looks to regroup and make a bold statement in his debut in the lightweight division as he faces Jan Blachowicz.
Blachowicz, with a record of 29 wins, 9 losses, and 1 draw, is coming off a controversial draw against Magomed Analeav in December 2022. He is determined to return to the win column in this matchup. Blachowicz is a crafty Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who constantly adapts his approach to secure victory. With 42% of his wins by knockout or technical knockout, 17% via submission, and 41% by decision, his versatile skill set poses a challenge for Pereira.
UFC 291 is shaping up to be an explosive event, filled with captivating matchups and fighters hungry to prove themselves. The Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje main event promises to be a war inside the Octagon, with high stakes and the coveted “BMF” belt on the line. Fans are in for a treat as they witness the clash of these titans, along with other exhilarating fights that will surely leave a lasting impact in the lightweight division.
Current Vegas Odds:
Dustin Porier -150
Justin Gaethje +130
Over/Under: 2 ½ rounds
Alex Pereira -110
Jan Blachowicz -110
Over/Under: 1 ½ rounds