UFC 291: Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 Preview & Best Bets

The BMF Title headlines UFC 291 as No. 2 ranked lightweight Dustin Poirier takes on No. 3 Justin Gaethje.

  • Date: Saturday, July 29, 2023 | Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Delta Center – Salt Lake City, Utah | TV: PPV

Wonderboy Meets Demolidor

No. 7 ranked welterweight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson takes on No. 15 Michel “Demolidor” Pereira. Thompson is fresh off a technical knockout of Kevin Holland, which followed back-to-back decision losses. Pereira is on a five-fight win streak, beating Zelim Imadaev, Khaos Williams, Niko Price, Andre Fialho, and Santiago Ponzinibbio.

Pereira is one inch taller, but Thompson has a two-inch reach advantage. At 40 years young, Wonderboy hands his hands full with his opponent, who is 11 years his junior. Thompson doesn’t have much power in his hands but can knock out anyone with his array of kicks. Pereira is probably one of the few welterweights that lands more significant strikes per minute than Thompson, at 5.09 to 4.2. Additionally, Pereira only absorbs 0.74 more significant strikes per minute.

Demolidor will have the edge in the wrestling, averaging 1.31 more takedowns per 15 minutes and an impressive 94 percent defense rate to Thompson’s 64. Wonderboy has improved his wrestling since joining the UFC, but he’ll have a disadvantage in the grappling department here.

Surprisingly, Thompson is the favorite at -160, but Pereira has more ways to win this fight. Take Pereira to win at +130.

Hands of Stone Faces Former Champ

No. 3 light heavyweight and former UFC Champion Jan Blachowicz welcomes No. 2 middleweight Alex “Poatan” Pereira to the division. Blachowicz is about seven months removed from a split draw for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Magomed Ankalaev. Pereira is only a few months removed from his knockout loss to UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya.

Pereira will be two inches taller and has a one-inch reach advantage. Poatan has significant power in his hands. Still, he is moving up a division, which could affect some of his stopping abilities. Pereira is the more active striker, landing 5.23 significant strikes to Blachowicz’s 3.41. However, Pereira absorbs 0.95 more per minute. Blachowicz should have the wrestling advantage, averaging 0.69 more takedowns per 15 minutes, and it’s an area where Pereira lacks experience.

Blachowicz is the slight favorite at -118, but take Pereira to win at -104.

UFC BMF Championship Main Event

  • Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Odds to Win: Poirier -152 | Gaethje +124
  • How Will Fight End: KO/TKO -145 | Submission +500 | Decision +185
  • Will the fight go the distance? Yes +192 | No -260

Former Interim UFC Lightweight Champion Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier takes on fellow former Interim UFC Lightweight Champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje. On the line is the UFC’s made-up BMF Title. This is a rematch, with the two meeting previous in April of 2018, where Poirier won by technical knockout. Poirier is coming off a submission win over Michael Chandler, while Gaethje is fresh off a majority decision win over Rafel Fiziev.

Gaethje is two inches taller, but Poirier has a two-inch reach advantage. Both fighters have one-punch stopping power, averaging 0.64 and 0.67 knockdowns per 15 minutes. Gaethje is the more active fighter, landing 7.38 significant strikes per minute to Poirier’s 5.51. However, The Highlight absorbs 3.41 more per minute. The Diamond averages 1.39 takedowns per 15 minutes to Gaethje’s 0.13. Still, Gaethje has more wrestling experience, and neither fighter will look to take this bout to the ground.

Rematches tend to favor the previous winner, which should stay true in this one. Take Poirier to win at -152.

UFC 291: Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 Betting Card

  • Michel Pereira to win (+130)
  • Alex Pereira to win (-104)
  • Poirier to win (-152)

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