UFC makes its highly anticipated return to Salt Lake City, Utah with a Fight of the Year candidate that will see No. 2 ranked lightweight contender Dustin Poirier run it back with No. 3 Justin Gaethje for the vacant BMF title. The co-main event will see former UFC light heavyweight champion and current No. 3 ranked contender Jan Blachowicz look to spoil the 205-pound debut of former middleweight titleholder Alex Pereira.
UFC 291: PORIER vs. GAETHJE 2 will take place Sat., July 29 at Delta Center (currently known as Vivint Arena) and will be available live on ESPN+ PPV. Tickets are set to go on sale to the public on Friday, June 2 and will be available through ticketmaster.com. The event is the result of a partnership with Smith Entertainment Group, the parent company of the Utah Jazz and the Delta Center, among other Utah-centric business entities, and Utah Sports Commission.
No. 13 men’s pound-for-pound fighter Poirier (29-7 1NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Lafayette, La.) is coming off his thrilling submission win over Michael Chandler last year. A dynamic striker and grappler, he also holds spectacular victories against Conor McGregor (twice), Max Holloway (twice) and Eddie Alvarez. Poirier now looks to stop Gaethje once again and take home the BMF belt.
Former interim lightweight champion Gaethje (25-4, fighting out of Denver, Colo. by way of Safford, Ariz.) has long established himself among the most exciting fighters in MMA. A heavy-handed striker and wrestler, he has earned memorable wins over Michael Chandler, Donald Cerrone and Rafael Fiziev. Gaethje now plans to even the score with Poirier by delivering another highlight-reel KO.
Blachowicz (29-9-1, fighting out of Warsaw, Poland) intends take out another former champion in impressive fashion. Known for his “legendary Polish power,” he holds notable victories against Israel Adesanya, Luke Rockhold and Dominick Reyes. Blachowicz now hopes for a show-stopping performance to stake his claim for a title shot.
Pereira (7-2, fighting out of Danbury, Conn. by way of Sao Paulo, Brazil) looks to turn heads at light heavyweight by stopping one of the division’s most decorated athletes. A former kickboxing standout, he holds thrilling KO wins over Israel Adesanya, Sean Strickland and Andreas Michailidis. Pereira now intends to make a statement against Blachowicz to enter the light heavyweight Top 5.
Other bouts on the card include:
- Fan favorites collide when Tony Ferguson (26-8, fighting out of Orange County, Calif.) battles Bobby Green (29-14-1 1NC, fighting out of Fontana, Calif.) in lightweight bout guaranteed to deliver fireworks
- No. 12 ranked welterweight contender Michael Chiesa (18-6, fighting out of Spokane Valley, Wash.) locks horns with Kevin Holland (24-9 1NC, fighting out of Fort Worth, Texas) in an intriguing matchup
- Former middleweight title challenger and No. 5 ranked contender Paulo Costa (14-2, fighting out of Contagem, MG, Brazil) returns to Salt Lake City to face surging Ikram Aliskerov (14-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia)
- No. 7 ranked welterweight contender Stephen Thompson (17-6-1, fighting out of Simpsonville, S.C.) faces No. 15 Michel Pereira (28-11 2NC, fighting out of Tucuma, Para, Brazil) in a battle of exciting strikers
- No. 11 ranked heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis (26-11 1NC, fighting out of Houston, Texas) aims to take back the UFC knockout record when he meets Marcos Rogerio de Lima (21-9-1, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
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For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.