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Dustin Poirier: Justin Gaethje rematch at UFC 291 ‘could headline without a BMF title’

UFC Fight Night Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

The Baddest Motherf—ker (BMF) title is back!

UFC 291 has its main event: Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje — two of the most entertaining fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) history — will run back their 2018 classic in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 29, 2023.

The former Lightweight interim champions have coincidentally gone 6-2 and only suffered their losses in title fights since fighting each other. Along the way, many improvements and adjustments have been made, highlight reels have been updated, and the violence continues.

Therefore, the addition of the gimmicky BMF title was strange for some in the community.

“This fight, I think, could headline without a BMF title,” Poirier told The MMA Hour. “This is an exciting fight. But, that just adds more fun to it to me. I would love to have that strap up there in my living room. So it’s another accolade.

“I’m not going to walk around like I’m the undisputed champion if I get this belt wrapped around my waist in July, but it’s fun. And if you look at our track records of competing for Fights of the Years over the last, for me over the last 10, 11 years, we have a lot of huge fights that have been voted on for Fight of the Year, one was against each other.

“Just look at the bonuses and the Fights of the Night and the carnage that me and him both display in there, it makes sense to have something fun like that,” he continued. “We’re always talking about lightweight’s most violent fighter. I said I completed the triangle by beating him, beating [Eddie] Alvarez, beating [Michael] Chandler, beating Conor [McGregor]. So we run it back for the most violent, call it the BMF, call it whatever you want.”

Poirier came out the victor via a fourth round technical knockout with punches against Gaethje in the first go-round. “The Diamond” has had two rematches in the time since his Gaethje battle, winning both opposite McGregor and Max Holloway in thrilling fashion.

Gaethje, on the other hand, has only fought the same opponent on one occasion (Luis Palomino). Thanks to Poirier’s perpetual Top 5 status in the 155-pound ranks, beating Gaethje again isn’t a requirement to get closer to his ultimate goal of undisputed UFC gold. At this stage, the Louisiana native just wants to continue chasing the fights that excite him and give him that nervous energy beforehand.

“I need it,” Poirier said of a rematch like Gaethje. “That’s where I do my best. That’s where I’m the most motivated. That’s where I learn the most about myself and about combat sports. That’s where greatness is, man, in that uncomfortable — and that’s what I try to do, is put myself in that fire. And this is one of those fights that does it. If this fight doesn’t get you excited, you’re not a fan of combat sports. Turn off YouTube right now and stop watching this show, because this fight is what I’m going to pick the ‘War’ hat up for.

“I know what I’m going into — it’s a head-on collision and I’m not turning away,” he concluded. “That’s what this fight is and that’s what I want. That excites me, dude. It gets me pumped up right now.”


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