UFC 291 BMF Championship Preview: Dustin Poirier – Justin Gaethje 2

MMA: UFC Fight Night Phoenix-Poirier vs Gaethje
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC 291, the BMF title is up for grabs. With Jorge Masvidal retiring, the promotion was looking to crown a new BMF champion and the new champion will be crowned after Dustin Poirier (29-7) and Justin Gaethje (24-4) square off for the second time.

These two first fought five years ago in what was Gaethje’s third fight with the UFC. In that fight, it was back-and-forth with Gaethje seeming to be slightly ahead of things. However, after a huge combination from Poirier opened the fourth round, he poured it on and got the TKO victory.

Since then, both men have had a very similar run. They both went on to become interim UFC lightweight champion and then they both lost undisputed title shots against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira. Since their first fight, those are the only two who have defeated Gaethje and Poirier. Tomorrow night, we will see them at their best and find out who the new BMF is.

UFC 291 Prediction

These two men are so evenly matched which makes this fight so tough to pick. One thing I really like from Justin Gaethje is his leg kicks. Gaethje might be the best leg kicker in the sport when he’s on point and he really hurt Poirier with those leg kicks in the first fight.

If he can land big kicks early, it could really play to his advantage. I also love his offensive wrestling if he uses it. We know he doesn’t like to use it, but Poirier has been victimized by offensive wrestling at times and struggles to get up when he’s held down.

That said, I love Poirier’s ability to stay calm in the fire. Gaethje can at times become a little too wild with his hands and throws caution to the wind. Meanwhile, everything with The Diamond is tight when a war is going on. His boxing combinations stay crisp and that can really help him if things get too wild in the exchanges.

I’m expecting an absolute war at UFC 291 with both men getting hurt at times throughout the fight. Unlike the first fight, I think this goes the distance in a fight that will challenge for fight of the year. While I won’t be shocked at all if Poirier gets his hand raised, I think Gaethje is going to fight smarter in this fight and do just enough to squeak by with an action-packed decision.

Prediction: Justin Gaethje by Decision