Ufc 291 | franchise sports media ufc 291 - poirier vs gaethje 2
Photo Credit: UFC

New FSM Preview: UFC 291 – Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje 2

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The UFC returns to Salt Lake City for a violent night at UFC 291!UFC 291 – Poirier vs Gaethje 2

UFC 291 | Franchise Sports Media UFC 291 - Poirier vs Gaethje 2
Photo Credit: UFC

It’s no fight capital of the world, but the great state of Utah is starting to become one of the best locations for insane UFC events.

In 2022, the UFC held one of its best cards of the year, with UFC 278 in Salt Lake City. That card included UFC Hall of Famer, Jose Aldo’s final fight, the wildly entertaining slugfest between Luke Rockhold and Paulo Costa, and the most iconic head-kick in the history of MMA that gave Leon Edwards the upset title victory over Kamaru Usman.

Now in 2023, the UFC returns to the Delta Center with a card that has the potential to be even better than the year before. With fan favorites like Derrick Lewis, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, and Tony Ferguson all fighting in the build-up to the headlining bouts, UFC 291 has plenty of big names and matchups to produce some unforgettable moments in Utah’s state capital. As deep as the card is, the two headlining bouts at UFC 291 truly make the event a potential contender for one of the best cards of 2023. In the co-main event, Jan Blachowicz welcomes former middleweight champion Alex Pereira to the division in his first bout at light-heavyweight.

And in the main event, the BMF belt is on the line as Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier and Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje face off in a rematch to settle who is genuinely the “Baddest Mother F—er on the planet.

UFC 291 – Poirier vs Gaethje 2 will decide the BMF title

  The Diamond vs The Highlight for the BMF title 

UFC 291 – Poirier vs Gaethje 2 is another great card.

UFC 291 | Franchise Sports Media UFC 291 - Poirier vs Gaethje 2
Photo Credit: UFC

This weekend’s main event at UFC 291 will not only establish a new BMF champion but possibly the next title fight in the lightweight division.

Since its debut in 2019, the BMF belt has become a polarizing topic for the UFC. With no real title implications, the value of the BMF belt has been difficult to measure. In its debut at UFC 244, two of the biggest names in the UFC, Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, squared off for the first BMF title fight. Once Masvidal secured the victory and became the first-ever BMF champion, the belt seemed to vanish with no clear answer from the UFC on if or when the title would make a return for the corporation.

Fast forward to this weekend’s UFC 291 event, the BMF title returns with two of the most dangerous lightweights on the planet fighting to determine the next BMF champion, as well as decide who will earn the next title shot in the lightweight division.

Dustin Poirier (29-7-0, 1 NC) and Justin Gaethje (24-4-0) have come close in the past to becoming world champions. Both men have been interim champions and have had multiple shots at the lightweight title. Crazy enough, both Gaethje and Poirier were stopped from achieving the lightweight title by the same two champions: Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira.

Now in 2023, Poirier and Gaethje have worked their way back to title contention and have established themselves as two of the greatest 155-pounders on the planet, with Poirier notching victories over Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor and Gaethje securing victories over Michael Chandler and Rafael Fiziev.

As these two men enter the octagon for the main event in Salt Lake City, they both will do so with the same purpose of earning their opportunity to finally become a UFC champion. As for the BMF title, with the matchup of Poirier and Gaethje, as well as the implications of a title shot on the line, the main event at UFC 291 could possibly be so violent and entertaining that the UFC is forced to make the BMF title a consistent event from now on.

UFC 291 – Poirier vs Gaethje 2 should be full of exciting matches.

Somebody needs to save the light heavyweight division  

UFC 291 – Poirier vs Gaethje 2 is a better card than 290, which was a great card

UFC 291 | Franchise Sports Media UFC 291 - Poirier vs Gaethje 2
Photo Credit: UFC

Since the departure of Jon Jones in 2020, the light heavyweight division has been cursed when it comes to finding another consistent champion.

Once Jones relinquished the 205-pound title, the division has seen four-different fighters hold the belt, with the last two champions being forced to relinquish the title due to injuries. A division that once had the most dominant champion in UFC history now sits with its title vacant for the third time in three years. Though it has been a struggle transitioning from the Jon Jones era, the light heavyweight division may soon find its next long-reigning champion as he makes his division debut this Saturday at UFC 291 in the co-main event.

Alex “Poatan” Pereira (7-2-0) hasn’t been in the UFC long, but the former kick-boxer has already established himself as the most dangerous contender in any division he competes in. In the middleweight division, Pereira only needed three fights to earn a title shot against his long-standing rival, Israel Adesanya. Pereira shocked the world in his first UFC title fight by defeating Adesanya to become the middleweight champion in just his fourth fight in the UFC. After losing the middleweight title in the rematch with Adesanya, Pereira decided to move up in weight to compete in the 205-pound division.

Looking at his record, raw power, and monstrous size, it’s not far-fetched to think Pereira could move up to one of the most dysfunctional divisions in the UFC and completely take over. The Brazilian native has shown he is capable of taking over a division in a very short period. At the same time, his elite striking and physical stature should make it a smooth transition to a heavier division for “Poatan.” In the co-main event of UFC 291, he will have his first taste of his new weight class against the man who first claimed the 205-pound title after the departure of Jon Jones, Jan Blachowicz (29-9-1).

Blachowicz has been in and out of title contention since he first secured the light heavyweight title in 2020. After defeating Dominick Reyes for the vacant title, Blachowicz only had two fights as the sitting champion. His first title defense came against Israel Adesanya when the middleweight champion attempted to secure a second division title in pursuit of “Champ-Champ” status. After using his sheer size to outpower Adesanya, Blackowicz successfully secured the first and only defense of his title. In his next bout in 2021, the Poland native faced UFC veteran Glover Teixeira. The 42-year-old Tiexiera pulled off the upset and submitted Blachowicz to become the next champion at 205.

Blachowicz bounced back after his loss just in time to fight for the title again in 2022 after it became vacant due to the injury of Jiri Prochazka. This time, Blachowicz faced Magomed Ankalaev in the UFC’s final event of the year in Madison Square Garden. After five rounds, the fight was declared a draw, leaving the light heavyweight title still unclaimed.

As a 40-year-old UFC veteran, Blachowicz is coming up on the final stretch of his MMA career. As the light heavyweight title stands vacant once again, Blachowicz could possibly have another opportunity to fight for the title with a victory in Saturday night’s co-main event.

Whether Jan Blachowicz reclaims the belt or Alex Pereira secures his second division title, all eyes will be on the co-main event at UFC 291 to see who might break the curse of the light heavyweight title.

Don’t miss UFC 291 – Poirier vs Gaethje 2 on Saturday

Check out franchisesportsmedia.com for all your latest in MMA, Las Vegas sports news, events, previews, recaps, and for episodes of FSM’s The Main Event.

 

-Griffin Kemp – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Griffin on Twitter @Griffinkemp51

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