Pre-fight Analysis

3 Scenarios to Look For at UFC 291 Poirier vs Gaethje

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UFC 291 goes down live from Salt Lake City, Utah featuring a blockbuster main event rematch for the coveted, ‘BMF’ title. The gimick belt was relinquished when gamebread, Jorge Masvidal retired and it will be the two men in the main event of UFC 291 that will compete for the vacant belt.

These two men, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje are familiar with each other. The two men met in a Fight Night main event back in 2018. On this occasion, after an all-out war, it would be The Diamond who would get his hand raised in the fourth round.

Ahead of their rematch, we take a look at three potential outcomes of the fight itself.

3 Scenarios that the UFC 291 Main Event Could Play Out

1 – Poirier by KO

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Dustin Poirier has recorded an impressive 14 knockouts across his 29 wins throughout his career. The last time these two men met, we saw the damage that Poirier can do with his hands.

A total of 174 significant strikes were landed by that night’s victor, with 142 targetted to the head, just 21 to the body and 11 to the legs of Gaethje.

Most recently (leg break aside), Poirier finished Conor McGregor on the feet. We know he’s got slick boxing, powerful, crisp shots and elite timing, all of which could cause Gaethje problems.

Many bettors are taking a Poirier KO, which you can see at online books like

2 – Gathje via knockout

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Although the first fight played out on the feet in favour of Poirier, we can’t rule out a Gaethje knockout. The highlight is a completely different fighter to the one that we saw clash with Poirier last time.

The old Gaethje would go all out to entertain the fans, throw caution to the wind and meet his opponent in the middle of the octagon to throw down. It was a hit-and-get-hit style. He went to war with Michael Johnson and Eddie Alvarez before running into Poirier, who’s power he couldn’t resist.

Since that bout, he recorded three back to back first round knockouts before securing the interim title in an extremely calculated manner.

We saw the ‘old’ Gaethje against Michael Chandler and shades of him against Rafael Fiziev last time out.

If Gaethje can take a leaf out of his own book, be more calculated, a little more reserved and not go all out for war, we could see him catch Porier for the finish.

Let’s not forget, he hurt The Diamond multiple times in their first bout, so the power is definitely there.

3 – Poirier via Decision

Arguably the least likely outcome to happen is that Poirier gets the BMF belt wrapped around his waist after a 25-minute fight.

Neither Poirier nor Gaethje like to leave it in the hands of the judges. Poirier has gone to a decision just four times in 16 fights since his return to lightweight. Similarly, Gaethje has only heard the final bell twice in the UFC.

If one man is going to win via decision, it’ll likely be the Louisiana native. He’s the more well-rounded guy and although Gaethje has a solid takedown defence, we’ve seen the improvements that Poirier has made in recent fights. He’s been more willing to mix the marital arts and fight on the ground. His black belt in BJJ speaks for itself and it certainly did last time out. He submitted Chandler via rear-naked choke to record his first submission victory since 2012.

If The Diamond is smart, he’ll mix it up in this one, look to take Gaethje down and potentially burn down time on the clock. If this is the way he chooses to fight, we could see a decision.

Whatever happens, expect fireworks in the UFC 291 main event. Both men are exciting, ruthless and always put on a show!

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Frazer Krohn has been with MMASucka for nearly 5 years. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast, which is released every Monday. He's the author of a series of six books about MMA, which were published in 2023.

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