After claiming the BMF title at UFC 291, is a undisputed title shot next for Justin Gaethje?

MMA: UFC 291 - Poirier vs Gaethje
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC 291, the vacant BMF title was up for grabs. Two former interim lightweight champions went to war for the second time as Dustin Poirier (29-8) took on Justin Gaethje (25-4).

These two were so evenly matched on paper that it was going to be fascinating to watch this fight play out. Poirier won the first fight by finishing Gaethje in the fourth round. Heading into the second fight, I thought the overall game of Gaethje had advanced to the point where he should be the favorite.

However, Poirier closed as the betting favorite. Both men had their moments in the first round of the fight. However, it was Poirier that seemed to hurt Gaethje in the first. Not bad enough to go in for the finish, but one that definitely got the attention of Gaethje.

The second round started with both men once again throwing big shots. Then, Gaethje stepped forward and threw a right straight. Directly behind the straight was a right high kick which landed on the side of Poirier’s head and sent him crashing to the canvas. Herb Dean slid in to stop things crowning Justin Gaethje the new BMF at UFC 291.

What’s next after UFC 291?

Justin Gaethje made it pretty clear what he wants next. He wants his third crack at undisputed lightweight gold. This October in Abu Dhabi, Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira will rematch for the lightweight title. Gaethje will be watching that fight closely as he’s likely in line to fight the winner.

After UFC 291, there really isn’t another fight out there for Justin Gaethje outside of the title fight. He’s won back-to-back fights since his shot against Charles Oliveira last year. Now, he’s just gotta sit back and be patient ahead of his title fight.

Conor McGregor would be the only fight that Gaethje would potentially entertain in the meantime, but McGregor is supposed to fight Michael Chandler. He’s not even in the USADA pool yet either so that fight is still a ways away from happening.