In the main event of UFC 291, Lightweight contenders Justin Gathje and Dustin Poirier face off in their long awaited rematch for the vacant BMF title. In their first matchup, Poirier bested Gathje by knockout in the fourth round. Both fighters are coming off of big wins against tough opponents, and are looking to hopefully get a shot at the lightweight title. While both fighters are known for their striking, While Poirier is known as one of the premier strikers in the UFC, Gathje has elite power that could prove troublesome for Poirier. While this should be a close fight, I believe Poirier will come out on top and defeat Gathje again.
Coming off a devastating knockout loss to now middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira faces off against former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in the co-main event. Pereira will be making his light heavyweight debut against a formidable and well rounded opponent in Blachowicz. His quick turn around between fights could further prove to be a further hindrance is his chances of victory. Despite his impressive striking and power, Pereira will not have his hand raised in the end.
Once one of the top lightweights in the UFC, fan favorite Tony Ferguson could be making his last appearance in the UFC octagon at UFC 291. Riding a 5 fight losing streak, Ferguson has deteriorated significantly over the past 3 years. His opponent Bobby Green is 2-3-1 in his past 6 fights yet still has the ability to beat Ferguson. In the end Ferguson is not the same fighter as he once was and will add another loss to his record.
Paulo Costa makes his return against rising middleweight contender Ikram Aliskerov. Despite only one fight in the UFC Aleskerov is getting a shot to face the number 5 ranked middleweight contender. Aliskerov is coming off a first round knockout win in his last fight and holds a record of 14-1. While he hasn’t fought in almost a full year, Costa has had plenty of time to train and looks to shut down Aliskerov. Costa should get the win in his return.
Coming off a loss in his last fight, welterweight contender Michael Chiesa looks to right the ship against the 30 year old Kevin Holland. Holland has been the more active fighter in recent years, winning his last fight by knockout. Holland’s superior size, activity, and greater fight experience will lead him to back to back wins.