UFC 291 Main Card Announced As ‘BMF’ Title Returns, Pereira’s LHW Debut Official

Justin Gaethje, UFC
Justin Gaethje, UFC 286 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Jamie Theodosi/Cageside Press

This Tuesday afternoon, Dana White broke some more news on the UFC’s social platforms, announcing the return of the ‘BMF’ title for UFC 291. The event will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 29, 2023.

The ‘BMF’ title was created back in 2019, when Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz were scheduled to fight in a five round non-title main event. To up the stakes, the UFC created the symbolic strap.

Jorge Masvidal won the bout, and was crowned the inaugural ‘BMF’, but since then the lineage of the belt has changed, despite it never been officially put on the line. Following Masvidal’s retirement, the belt once again became free, according to the promotion.

On Tuesday, Dana White announced that the belt would finally be put up for grabs, in a rematch between top lightweights Dustin Poirier (29-7, 1NC) and Justin Gaethje (24-4). The two put on a war for the ages back in 2018, in which Poirier came out on top, winning via fourth-round TKO.

The winner of the main event will likely see themselves catapulted back into title contention, despite both having fought for official gold previously and coming up short.

As well as the main event, Dana White announced that Alex Pereira’s light heavyweight debut is official, as he will take on former champion, Jan Blachowicz in what is likely a number one contender’s fight. That match-up will serve as the UFC 291 co-main event.

Ikram Aliskerov, who is coming off the back of a knockout win over Phil Hawes, will be thrown in at the deep end as his second fight in the promotion will be against former title challenger, Paulo Costa.

Despite recently being arrested for DUI, Tony Ferguson will also make an appearance in Salt Lake City, as he takes on Bobby Green. Ferguson is currently riding a five fight losing skid, with opponent Green losing his last two outings.

Opening up the main card will be a welterweight bout between number 12 ranked Michael Chiesa and “Big Mouth”, Kevin Holland. Chiesa’s last fight came against Sean Brady back in 2021, where he lost a decision. In that time period, Kevin Holland has fought a total of eight times.

Derrick Lewis vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima, and Stephen Thompson vs. Michel Pereira, will feature on the event’s preliminary card, which will air on ABC.

UFC 291 will take place on July 29 at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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