THRILLING BMF TITLE BOUT BETWEEN
(#2) DUSTIN POIRIER AND (#3) JUSTIN GAETHJE
HEADLINES STACKED UFC® 291 IN SALT LAKE CITY
(#3) JAN BLACHOWICZ vs. (#1-MW) ALEX PEREIRA
TONY FERGUSON vs. BOBBY GREEN
(#5) PAULO COSTA vs. IKRAM ALISKEROV
UFC® 291: POIRIER vs. GAETHJE 2
TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY, JUNE 2
Las Vegas – UFC® makes its highly anticipated return to Salt Lake City, Utah on Sat., July 29 with a Fight of the Year candidate that will see No. 2 ranked lightweight contender Dustin Poirier run it back with No. 3 Justin Gaethje for the vacant BMF title. The co-main event will see former UFC light heavyweight champion and current No. 3 ranked contender Jan Blachowicz look to spoil the 205-pound debut of former middleweight titleholder Alex Pereira.
The event is the result of a partnership with Utah Sports Commission and Smith Entertainment Group.
“I’m excited to return to Salt Lake City, which has one of the nicest arenas in the world,” UFC President Dana White said. “The fan response last year was incredible and this time we’re bringing one of the most anticipated cards of the year with two of the baddest fighters in the world for the BMF title. I want to thank the Utah Sports Commission and Smith Entertainment Group for their continued support. UFC 291 will be one of the biggest events of the year.”
“Last year’s epic UFC 278 Pay-Per-View event brought huge economic impact and tremendous global media exposure to Utah: The State of Sport,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. “With that success we are excited to partner again with the UFC, Smith Entertainment Group and welcome some of the top MMA fighters in the world as we play host to UFC 291: Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to have UFC back to Salt Lake City. UFC 291 will be one of the most anticipated sporting events of 2023, and we’re all in on hosting it at the Delta Center,” said Ryan Smith, chairman of Smith Entertainment Group. “Utah is a premier sports and entertainment destination, and SEG is committed to bringing world-class events to the state and providing exceptional experiences to fans, talent, and organizations while they are here. We’re thrilled about our continued partnership with UFC and Utah Sports Commission. We look forward to hosting another successful fight night.”
UFC® 291: POIRIER vs. GAETHJE 2 will take place at Delta Center with the main card at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT exclusively on ESPN+ PPV. The prelims will be available on ABC, ESPN ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ (English and Spanish), at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The night’s action will start at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT with Early Prelims on ESPN+ (English and Spanish) and UFC Fight Pass.
UFC® 291: POIRIER vs. GAETHJE 2 tickets are set to go on sale to the public on Friday, June 2 at 10 a.m. MT and will be available through ticketmaster.com. Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. UFC Fight Club® members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets Wednesday, May 31 at 10 a.m. MT via the website www.ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Thursday, June 1 starting at 10 a.m. MT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.
No. 13 men’s pound-for-pound fighter Poirier (29-7 1NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Lafayette, La.) is coming off his thrilling submission win over Michael Chandler last year. A dynamic striker and grappler, the former interim lightweight champion also holds spectacular victories against Conor McGregor (twice), Max Holloway (twice) and Eddie Alvarez. Poirier now looks to stop Gaethje once again and take home the BMF belt.
Former interim lightweight champion Gaethje (25-4, fighting out of Denver, Colo. by way of Safford, Ariz.) has long established himself among the most exciting fighters in MMA. A heavy-handed striker and wrestler, he has earned memorable wins over Michael Chandler, Donald Cerrone and Rafael Fiziev. Gaethje now plans to even the score with Poirier by delivering another highlight-reel KO.
Blachowicz (29-9-1, fighting out of Warsaw, Poland) intends to take out another former champion in impressive fashion. Known for his “legendary Polish power,” he holds notable victories against Israel Adesanya, Luke Rockhold and Dominick Reyes. Blachowicz now hopes for a show-stopping performance to stake his claim for a title shot.
Pereira (7-2, fighting out of Danbury, Conn. by way of Sao Paulo, Brazil) looks to turn heads at light heavyweight by stopping one of the division’s most decorated athletes. A former kickboxing standout, he holds thrilling KO wins over Israel Adesanya, Sean Strickland and Andreas Michailidis. Pereira now intends to make a statement against Blachowicz to enter the light heavyweight Top 5.
Other bouts on the card include:
- Fan favorites collide when Tony Ferguson (26-8, fighting out of Orange County, Calif.) battles Bobby Green (29-14-1 1NC, fighting out of Fontana, Calif.) in a lightweight bout guaranteed to deliver fireworks
- Former middleweight title challenger and No. 5 ranked contender Paulo Costa (14-2, fighting out of Contagem, MG, Brazil) returns to Salt Lake City to face surging Ikram Aliskerov (14-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia)
- No. 7 ranked welterweight contender Stephen Thompson (17-6-1, fighting out of Simpsonville, S.C.) faces No. 15 Michel Pereira (28-11 2NC, fighting out of Tucuma, Para, Brazil) in a battle of exciting strikers
- No. 11 ranked heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis (26-11 1NC, fighting out of Houston, Texas) aims to take back the UFC knockout record all for himself when he meets Marcos Rogerio de Lima (21-9-1, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
- No. 12 ranked welterweight contender Michael Chiesa (18-6, fighting out of Spokane Valley, Wash.) locks horns with Kevin Holland (24-9 1NC, fighting out of Fort Worth, Texas) in an intriguing matchup
- Matthew Semelsberger (11-5, fighting out of Frederick, Md.) squares off with Yohan Lainesse (9-2, fighting out of St-Bruno, Quebec, Canada) in an all-action welterweight bout
- Roman Kopylov (10-2, fighting out of Bachatsky, Kemerovo, Russia) meets Claudio Ribeiro (11-3, fighting out of Jundiaí, São Paulo, Brazil) at middleweight
- Trevin Giles (16-4, fighting out of Houston, Texas) battles undefeated Gabriel Bonfim (14-0, fighting out of Brasília, Brazil) in a welterweight tilt
- CJ Vergara (11-4-1, fighting out of San Antonio, Texas) takes on Vinicius Salvador (14-5, fighting out of Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil) at flyweight
- Joanne Wood (16-8, fighting out of Glasgow, Scotland) faces Priscila Cachoeira (12-4, fighting out of Bangu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in a flyweight bout