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Two title fights at UFC 291? Ad claims Blachowicz vs. Pereira will be for Light Heavyweight belt

An advertisement sent by UFC may have just leaked plans to make Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira at UFC 291 for the vacant 205-pound title.

UFC 276: Strickland v Pereira Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Did UFC 291 just gain a real title fight?

For the past two months, UFC 291, which will take place inside Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 29, 2023, has been advertised as being headlined by Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje, fighting for the semi-official “Baddest Mother F—er” belt. It’s not a proper UFC championship, but it’ll do in a pinch when the promotion can’t scrabble together something real.

Well, it may have just added something real to UFC 291.

Late last week, Jamahal Hill announced he was relinquishing UFC’s Light Heavyweight title after injuring his Achilles tendon in a pickup basketball game (details here). Now, all of a sudden eagle-eyed fans are noticing bar broadcast Facebook ads from UFC promoting UFC 291 as having TWO title fights: Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirier and Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira.

So, it looks like UFC’s Light Heavyweight title may be on the line in Salt Lake City. Sure, it’s a bit of an odd bout to make for the 205-pound strap. Pereira has never competed at 205 pounds in UFC. Blachowicz is coming off a disappointing showing in his last fight against Magomed Ankalaev. That was also for the vacant Light Heavyweight belt and ended in a split draw. People were so unimpressed with the fight that UFC just decided neither guy deserved it and moved on to Jamahal Hill vs. Glover Teixeira.

But, both Jan and Alex are already on UFC 291, so why not?

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

We have to agree with that sentiment. The Light Heavyweight division has been a total mess since Jon Jones relinquished the title to move up to Heavyweight. No one can seem to hold onto the belt. Either they lose it in a fight or UFC not-so-subtly “asks” them to relinquish it after an injury.

At this point, anything that gets the division moving again is okay by us.

Don’t ask why Hill was playing basketball at UFC 290’s International Fight Week instead of getting ready to defend the Light heavyweight strap at UFC 291 to begin with. Just be happy that the belt will now be on the line (maybe). If, that is, this advertisement from the UFC is a proper leak and not just some intern screw-up.

Regardless, we’ll keep you informed of any more developments on the UFC 291 front as they come available in the coming days and weeks.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 291 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+/ABC at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 291: “Poirier vs. Gaethje 2”” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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