UFC 291’s main card saw major action on Saturday night, with Justin Gaethje avenging his previous loss to Dustin Poirier with a perfectly-timed head kick that knocked “Diamond” out early in the second round of the lightweights’ war for the “BMF” belt. “Highlight” now hopes for a shot at the title against the winner of an October rematch between former champ Charles Oliveira and new Dagestani boogeyman of the men’s lightweight division, Islam Makhachev himself.
Meanwhile, in the co-main event, Alex Pereira, previously best known as longtime foe to Israel Adesanya, made his light heavyweight debut against Polish powerhouse Jan Błachowicz. Though Blachowicz successfully took Pereira down multiple times, and established a significant period of ground control throughout the three-round battle, Pereira eked out a narrow split decision victory from the judges, thanks to some well-placed significant strikes against the former light heavyweight champ. The win has the kickboxing phenom well-place to make his bid for the vacant light heavyweight title.
This angle of Justin Gaethje’s KO is incredible 😍 pic.twitter.com/TLlg7pQ7Ph— MMA Orbit (@mma_orbit) July 30, 2023
Full Main Card Results
Justin Gaethje def. Dustin Poirier (round 2, KO)
Alex Pereira def. Jan Blachowicz (split decision)
Derrick Lewis def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (round 1, TKO)
Bobby Green def. Tony Ferguson (round 3, arm triangle)
Kevin Holland def. Michael Chiesa (round 1, d’arce choke)