Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje will run back their 2018 Fight of the Year candidate with some added pageantry. Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 will headline UFC 291 in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, July 29 with the honorary BMF title at stake.
UFC president Dana White revealed the UFC 291 main card during an Instagram Live session on Tuesday. The winner of Poirier-Gaethje will not only be presented with the BMF (Baddest Mother F---er) title but will also find themselves closing in on a UFC lightweight title shot alongside the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush which takes place on June 10 at UFC 289.
The BMF belt is a ceremonial title that was created for the high-profile fight between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz at UFC 244 in November 2019. Masvidal won the fight in Madison Square Garden and was awarded the title by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. White announced on Tuesday that the informal title was vacated after.
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White also announced four other fights for the UFC 291 main card. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz will welcome former middleweight champion Alex Pereira, fresh off a knockout loss to Israel Adesanya, to the 205-pound division. No. 5-ranked middleweight Paulo Costa fights unranked striking specialist Ikram Aliskerov. Former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson meets fellow action fighter Bobby Green. The main card is rounded out by a bout between Michael Chiesa and Kevin Holland.
The first Poirier vs. Gaethje fight ended via Round 4 TKO in Poirier's favor. Poirier is 4-1 in his last five fights, most recently beating Michael Chandler following two wins over Conor McGregor and a failed title bid against Oliveira. Gaethje suffered his own title loss to Oliveira in May 2022 but rebounded in his most recent outing, defeating Rafael Fiziev via majority decision.