UFC returns to Salt Lake City with BMF title bout
Salt Lake City—UFC® makes its highly anticipated return to Salt Lake City, Utah 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.
UFC® 291: PORIER vs. GAETHJE 2 will take place Sat., July 29 at Delta Center (currently known as Vivint Arena) and will be available live on ESPN+ PPV. Tickets are set to go on sale to the public on Friday, June 2 and will be available through ticketmaster.com.The event is the result of a partnership with Smith Entertainment Group – the parent company of the Utah Jazz and their home arena, the Delta Center, among other Utah-centric business entities – and Utah Sports Commission.
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, he 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 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 lightweight bout guaranteed to deliver fireworks
- 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
- 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 when he meets Marcos Rogerio de Lima (21-9-1, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Media members wishing to apply for UFC® 291: PORIER vs. GAETHJE 2 credentials may sign up here.
For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization (MMA), with more than 700 million fans and 233 million social media followers. The organization produces more than 40 live events annually in some of the most prestigious arenas around the world, while broadcasting to over 900 million TV households across more than 170 countries. UFC’s active fighter roster features the world’s best MMA athletes representing more than 75 countries. The organization’s digital offerings include UFC FIGHT PASS®, one of the world’s leading streaming services for combat sports. UFC is owned by global sports and entertainment company Endeavor and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok: @UFC.
About Smith Entertainment Group
Smith Entertainment Group (SEG) is a sports, technology, and entertainment investment group focused primarily on the state of Utah. SEG’s portfolio includes the Utah Jazz (NBA), Real Salt Lake (MLS), Delta Center, America First Credit Union Field, the Salt Lake City Stars (NBA G League), Utah Jazz Gaming (NBA 2K League), Real Monarchs (MLS NEXT Pro), the Zone Sports Radio Network, the Utah Royals (NWSL – coming in 2024), and other Utah-centric business ventures
About Utah Sports Commission
The Utah Sports Commission was created to be a catalyst for Utah in its Olympic legacy efforts and to help enhance Utah’s economy, image, and quality of life through the attraction, promotion, and development of national and international sports. Since the 2002 Olympics and Paralympics, the Utah Sports Commission has attracted nearly 900 major events to the state. The Sports Commission works closely with communities, sports entities, and organizations to provide event services ranging from the bid process, on-site logistics, volunteer coordination, sponsorships and promotional opportunities, and other related services. It is a not-for-profit 501(c)6 business league and Utah Sports Commission Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization, is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees consisting of statewide sports, business, community, and government leaders. For more information, visit www.utahsportscommission.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.