Home MMA NewsLatest News Buzz from the UFC 291 Fallout: Justin Gaethje’s Rise to BMF, Dustin Poirier’s Future Direction

Buzz from the UFC 291 Fallout: Justin Gaethje’s Rise to BMF, Dustin Poirier’s Future Direction

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UFC 291 aftermath

UFC 291 has made history, standing in stark contrast to the previous event in Utah, with a series of knockouts and unexpected twists. Justin Gaethje overpowered Dustin Poirier to claim the new BMF title, Alex Pereira continued his lightning-fast ascent to the Hall of Fame, Derrick Lewis bounced back to a triumphant victory followed by an unforgettable post-fight celebration, while Tony Ferguson’s unfortunate descent continued. So let’s delve into these developments.

Justin Gaethje

His status has surely escalated after Saturday.

Justin Gaethje, an MMA exception, enjoys a reputation that may be underrated, yet is universally admired as one of the most thrilling fighters to have ever stepped into the ring. This is quite a unique place to be. Out of his eight UFC victories against top contenders, Gaethje was the underdog in six, only favored against Michael Chandler and Donald Cerrone. This might be attributed to his non-conventional style, which might confound observers – the fact that he often ends up in hospital after victories makes it difficult for people to consider him a legend.

However, Gaethje’s recent performances argue strongly for his recognition as a top fighter.

The Lightweight division is the cream of the crop in MMA, where victory streaks, even as long as 12 fights, don’t guarantee a shot at the undisputed title, and fighters on eight-fight winning streaks haven’t vied for any belt. In such a cutthroat division, Gaethje has consistently remained at the top, a testament to his skill and prowess.

With Gaethje’s impressive record in the lightweight division, including victories over Poirier (an all-time top-seven lightweight) and Tony Ferguson (top-five), he has elevated himself to the highest level of fighters who haven’t yet captured a UFC belt. Currently, he stands on the same footing as fighters like Poirier and the Diaz brothers, but if he maintains this momentum, he has the potential to join the ranks of Alexander Gustafsson, Yoel Romero, and Demian Maia.

Gaethje vs. Conor McGregor

Would Justin Gaethje demolish Conor McGregor if they were to face off in six months?

— Jay Pettry (@jaypettry) July 30, 2023

Following Gaethje’s victory on Saturday, McGregor took to social media as he seemingly couldn’t resist stealing some of the limelight. Long gone are the days when McGregor ignored everyone because they were all chasing him.

As for a potential Gaethje-McGregor clash, I’ve stated for almost five years that no other matchup in MMA intrigues me more. It promises an exciting bout between two of the top five most exciting fighters, where each of their strengths and weaknesses beautifully contrast the other. However, I’m now quite convinced that Gaethje would overcome Conor.

At his prime, McGregor was a force to be reckoned with, often dominating his opponents with an intuitive sense of timing and rhythm. However, Gaethje’s style is designed to disrupt rhythm, and his proven durability could thwart McGregor’s hopes for a quick win. While McGregor might show sparks of brilliance in the initial few minutes, Gaethje’s vastly improved defense and powerful leg kicks would significantly impair McGregor’s chances. The fight might look like a more brutal version of McGregor vs. Poirier 2, with Gaethje potentially breaking McGregor with his relentless attacks.

Dustin Poirier

Certainly not! Losing to Justin Gaethje isn’t something to be ashamed of, especially given Poirier’s prior victory over him. If they faced each other 100 times, the wins would likely even out. However, this loss probably seals Poirier’s legacy.

Poirier has had a challenging career in the demanding world of MMA. He seems to be past his prime and this loss might be seen as the start of that phase as he’s no longer chasing titles. Now removed from the title picture and with his focus shifted to interesting fights rather than fending off contenders, Poirier’s fighting days are probably numbered. Despite these being exciting, they won’t significantly alter his legacy.

In MMA, a fighter’s legacy is largely shaped by their championship pursuits. Of course, legendary matchups can sway opinions (as B.J. Penn’s seven late-career losses saw him tumble from lightweight GOAT to an afterthought), but they are just the icing on the cake. Regardless of future events, Poirier will be remembered as a top-seven lightweight and a universally admired fighter – an achievement anyone would be proud of.

Alex Pereira, Light Heavyweight Title Challenger

Now that Pereira has defeated Jan Blachowicz, he’s a legitimate light heavyweight contender, and with Jamahal Hill vacating the belt, it’s almost certain that Pereira will fight true champion Jiri Prochazka for the title. This intriguing matchup also tells a perfect story with Prochazka facing off against the protégé of the man he defeated for the belt. If Pereira manages to defeat Jiri and become the eighth multi-division champion in UFC history – all in just 11 career fights – it would be nothing short of spectacular and set the stage for an inevitable fight with Adesanya for the light heavyweight title.

Derrick Lewis

Post his victory, Derrick Lewis announced his free agency in a post-fight interview, indicating that he’s hopeful of another contract with the UFC, but wouldn’t be disappointed if it doesn’t materialize. Lewis has been with the UFC for almost a decade, fought for a title twice, and likely holds the company in high regard. But he’s also a businessman and wants to maximize his earnings. A $2 million offer is substantial and it’s doubtful if the UFC would match that.

Moreover, Lewis could likely negotiate a higher price than the $2 million, attracting many challengers but also intriguing casual fans. This would require the UFC to pay a substantial amount for a fighter who was recently on a three-fight losing streak, which seems unlikely.

So, expect Derrick Lewis, PFL heavyweight, in 2024.

Tony Ferguson

During a competitive round against Bobby Green, Tony Ferguson was leading until an unfortunate eye poke changed the game. While it would have been fair to deduct a point, it wouldn’t have affected the outcome as Green secured the victory. This is simply how MMA unfolds.

Despite this, it might be wise for Ferguson to step away from fighting. Although he still demonstrates glimpses of his former prowess, he struggles to maintain it for the duration of a fight. Combined with his unconventional tactical choices, he will likely struggle against top-tier fighters. As the old adage goes, no one defeats Father Time. We can only hope that Ferguson doesn’t endure unnecessary harm in the coming years, struggling against the inevitable.

Thank you for reading and to everyone who contributed tweets! Do you have pressing questions about combat sports or related topics? If so, send your tweets to me, @JedKMeshew, and I’ll answer my favorites. Whether they’re current or absurd, as long as they’re engaging. Thanks again and see you next week.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC 291 aftermath

What significant events happened in UFC 291 aftermath?

The aftermath of UFC 291 saw several notable events, including Justin Gaethje defeating Dustin Poirier and becoming the new BMF champion, Alex Pereira continuing his fast-tracked Hall of Fame career, Derrick Lewis getting back in the winning column and expressing his free agency status, and Tony Ferguson continuing on a disappointing trajectory.

Who is Justin Gaethje and what’s notable about him?

Justin Gaethje is a mixed martial artist who, after UFC 291, became the new BMF champion. Gaethje stands out for being an underrated yet universally loved fighter, known for his exciting fights and resilience. Despite often being an underdog, he has claimed several top-level victories, contributing to his strong reputation in the sport.

Where does Dustin Poirier stand after UFC 291?

Dustin Poirier, although defeated by Gaethje in UFC 291, remains a highly respected and successful fighter. However, Poirier’s focus moving forward is not primarily on title contention but rather on interesting and fun fights. As a result, he may only have a few fights left, likely contributing to his legacy rather than chasing titles.

How does Derrick Lewis’s career look after UFC 291?

After UFC 291, Derrick Lewis announced his free agency status. He’s been with the UFC for nearly 10 years and has fought for a title twice. However, with the announcement of his free agency and potential better offers from competitors like PFL, Lewis’s future with UFC is uncertain.

What is the current state of Tony Ferguson’s career?

Tony Ferguson has been on a downward trend recently, losing his match at UFC 291. Despite showing potential in each fight, he is no longer consistently performing at his past high level. As time goes on, it seems less likely that he will be able to win against other high-level fighters.

More about UFC 291 aftermath

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TonyTimeIsOver August 2, 2023 - 2:38 am

harsh but fair on Tony Ferguson. Father time spares no one, not even El Cucuy 🙁

KO_King August 2, 2023 - 5:12 am

Derek Lewis to PFL?! Thats crazy talk man. But if the price is right, why not I guess…

TheRealMMAJunkie August 2, 2023 - 6:46 am

Yeah, Poirier’s done with title hunts, but he’s still got a few good fights in him. Can’t wait to see who he’s up against next!

Mike4Real August 2, 2023 - 9:25 am

Wow! Gaethje is a total beast! Lightweight division is on fire!! Best in the biz!!!

ILoveThisGame August 2, 2023 - 11:51 am

Can’t wait to see Pereira fight for the light heavyweight title, that’s gonna be epic!!! 100% agree with the writer on this.

ChampChampFan August 2, 2023 - 5:19 pm

Conor’s washed up now, no way he can take on Gaethje. sad to see tbh 🙁


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