clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 291 results: Matches to make for ‘Poirier vs. Gaethje 2’ main card winners

UFC 291 went down last night (Sat., July 29, 2023) inside Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, featuring a Lightweight scrap for the “BMF” belt between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. Gaethje knocked out “The Diamond” with a perfectly-placed high kick that slept the former interim Lightweight champion before he hit the canvas (see it here). In the co-main event, Alex Pereira walked away with a close split decision win over former Light Heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz, which many felt should have gone the other way.

UFC 291: Poirier v Gaethje 2 Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Winner: Justin Gaethje
Who He Should Face Next: Makhachev vs. Oliveira winner

Now that he is the “Baddest Motherf—ker” in mixed martial arts (MMA) thanks to his spectacular knockout of Poirier, Gaethje will patiently wait for his next title shot. And that will come against the winner of the upcoming rematch between Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira. This one is a no-brainer since there is no other contender who warrants the title fight next (sorry not-sorry, Conor). Gaethje has a loss to Oliveira, while a fight against Makhachev would be a fresh fight for both.

UFC 291: Blachowicz v Pereira Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Winner: Alex Pereira
Who He Should Face Next: Magomed Ankalaev (not a title fight)

I, for one, thought Blachowicz had done enough to spoil Periera’s Light Heavyweight debut, but the judges in charge decided otherwise (see why here). Nevertheless, a win is a win for “Poatan,” but it wasn’t good enough to warrant a shot at the title. Instead, he should face Magomed Ankalaev, who is currently ranked No. 2. Interestingly enough, Anakalaev last fought to a draw against Blachowicz. The winner of this fight gets a shot at the title, which is currently vacant after Jamahal Hill suffered an injury that prompted him to relinquish the belt, much like Jiri Prochazka did.

UFC 291: Lewis v de Lima Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Winner: Derrick Lewis
Who He Should Face Next: Jairzinho Rozenstruik

After Lewis steamrolled Marcos Rogerio de Lima (see it), he revealed that he would be entering free agency. He also stated during the post-fight presser that he would love nothing more than to re-sign with UFC. If that does happen, then pair him up against Rozenstruik. I get that Lewis is ranked No. 10, but let’s not forget that prior to his win, he was on a three-fight skid. As for Rozenstruik, he was last seen getting choked out by Jailton Almeida. I just can not justify giving “Black Beast” someone ranked ahead of him right now given how the landscape looks.

UFC 291: Ferguson v Green Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Winner: Bobby Green
Who He Should Face Next: Carlos Diego Ferreira

Green picked up a huge win last night, choking out Tony Ferguson with just seconds remaining in the fight (watch highlights). That was his first win in last four tries, so “King” will look to build on this momentum. I wouldn’t mind seeing him pair up against Ferreira, who is coming off a knockout win over Michael Johnson. Like Green, Ferreira was winless in his previous three fights before getting back into the winner’s circle. Green has been fighting inside the Octagon for 10 years now, so there aren’t too many people he hasn’t faced. This would be a fresh matchup for both. Speaking of which, Ferreira has also been with UFC for nearly a decade and their paths have yet to cross.

UFC 291: Chiesa v Holland Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Winner: Kevin Holland
Who He Should Face Next: Neil Magny

Holland scored his second straight win after starching Michael Chiesa in the first round (watch it). Now, “Trailblazer” eyes his first three-fight win streak since 2020. I’ve always wanted to see a throw down between Holland and Magny, and now is as good a time as any. Magny is coming off a win over Phillip Rowe just last month and is 2-2 in his last four fights. Their respective turnaround times would likely sync up, so let’s match them up to see what’s what. I know Holland is plotting a move up to Middleweight, but I’d like to see this fight first. Speaking of which, if Holland keeps flip-flopping divisions he will never be in serious title consideration.

For complete UFC 291 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania