The highly anticipated rematch between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje arrives at UFC 291 on Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Utah — but the event is missing one key fight.
With Michel Pereira missing weight on Friday, his fight with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson will not move forward. The 40-year old Thompson released a statement later on Friday noting that at his age and point in his career, it wasn’t worth the risk facing a blown-up opponent.
As a result, our picks piece this week has just four fights, since most of our staff had their picks in prior to this development. Derrick Lewis vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima, however, is the fight that will be promoted to the main card in place of Thompson vs. Pereira.
Now, let’s get right to it with our remaining picks for UFC 291!
|Writer / Fight||Holland vs. Chiesa||Green vs. Ferguson||Pereira vs. Blachowicz||Poirier vs. Gaethje|
|Jamie Theodosi (74-48)|
|Alex Behunin (75-53)|
|Chris Prawdzik (76-54)|
|Cade Morehouse (28-24)|
|Jay Anderson (65-69)|
|Dylan Rush (64-70)|
|Eddie Law (57-69)|
One again this week, there’s not a unanimous selection among the bunch. There isn’t really a lock, either, unless you consider that to be Kevin Holland in his fight with Michael Chiesa. Despite Chiesa’s edge on the ground and Holland’s historic struggles with wrestlers, just two writers have sided with “Maverick,” who has been out of action for a minute. Or maybe Alex Pereira, who had the same margin against Jan Blachowicz.
Tony Ferguson had just three fighters siding with him against Bobby Green, while in the main event, we’re pretty much split right down the middle. As is most of the fan base, it seems, which is what makes this rematch so fun. Will Gaethje’s more technical approach of late push him past Poirier, or will we get another bloody brawl where anyone could go down at any moment? Either way, don’t miss this one!