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Dustin Poirier dismisses Utah elevation as factor in Justin Gaethje rematch: ‘We’re not fighting on Mount Everest’

Salt Lake City’s elevation has affected several UFC fighters in the past, but “The Diamond” isn’t worried as he comes into a five-round fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 291.

UFC Fight Night Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje will fight again at UFC 291 on July 29, 2023, for the BMF belt. Their first fight went down back in 2018 and ended with Poirier earning a fourth round technical knockout win over Gaethje in a fight many considered “Fight of the Year” ... heck, “Fight of the Century.”

This second battle is looking to be just as wild, but both men will be fighting a third opponent in the cage: the altitude of Salt Lake City, Utah, which sits 4,300 feet above sea level. This will be the third UFC event held in Utah’s capitol, and the physical toll of fighting in the clouds made its mark on several fighters at UFC 278.

In a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Poirier didn’t sound too worried about any potential impact.

“Dude, I don’t know, I’ll guess we’ll see when we get out there,” he told Ariel Helwani. “I’m kinda planning ahead. I’m having my team reach out to a couple of different altitude tent companies. I’m looking at something to wrap around my bed in training camp, so I’ll sleep at altitude every night.

“I know Gaethje’s out in Denver, so he’s gonna be coming down to fight,” Poirier added. “He’s got a little bit of an advantage there with the altitude. In the words of my boxing coach, when we talked about it when this started unfolding, he said he don’t care. It could be in space. I’m a high-conditioned combat athlete, and I could fight anywhere for however long, so that’s what we’re going into this with.”

“The Diamond” added that he was considering staying in nearby Park City, Utah, for a week before the fight, which is a ski town 7,000 feet up in elevation. Between that and the altitude tent, he thinks he’ll be okay.

Again, he clearly wasn’t too concerned.

“It’s a fight, man,” Poirier said. “Twenty-five minutes, come on. We’re not fighting on Mount Everest, dude. Come on, let’s go.”

Poirier is 4-1 over his last five appearances, with the sole loss coming to former UFC Lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira. Gaethje, meanwhile, comes into UFC 291 at 2-1, also having been defeated by Oliveira.

To check out the latest UFC 291 fight card and rumors click here.

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