“Gaethje must recognize that this is his final stretch, while Poirier likely harbors similar feelings,” expressed Brown in a recent edition of The Fighter vs. The Writer podcast. “It’s evident that both fighters don’t have much left in them, but I anticipate Gaethje fighting with an extra push that could become the game-changer.”
Their initial encounter, crowned as MMA Hook’s 2018 “Fight of the Year” with seven out of eight top votes, showcased an electrifying performance by both lightweight fighters. It was Poirier, however, who escalated the fight, managing to defeat Gaethje after three intense rounds with a series of powerful punches, inching closer to the lightweight title.
Brown acknowledges Poirier’s ability to seize opportunities and shift the course of fights at critical moments.
“Dustin Poirier might not be the hardest one-punch knockout contender, but he has a knack for landing those fight-altering punches,” Brown explained. “His punches can change an opponent’s mindset in an instant, similar to Manny Pacquiao’s. And this is what Poirier needs to land on Gaethje once again.”
Both Poirier and Gaethje have equally fought eight times with a record of 6-2 since their first match. Both held the interim lightweight title and were eventually bested by the now-retired champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov. They were also both defeated by Charles Oliveira via rear-naked choke, though Gaethje’s title fight took a hit when Oliveira famously missed weight at UFC 274.
Poirier enters the rematch fresh from a victory over former title challenger Michael Chandler, while Gaethje comes four months after a decision win over Rafael Fiziev. Both fighters promise an exciting show in the octagon. However, according to Brown, the key to winning may lie in which fighter is fresher, has taken lesser damage since their first match, and, most importantly, who is more determined.
Gaethje’s performance in their initial match seemed commendable to Brown. Now, the question is, what can be improved this time?
Brown suggests Gaethje might benefit from using his wrestling skills more and implementing better footwork to create a more strategic, less combative fight.
Leveraging the experience and knowledge of Gaethje’s long-time coach, Trevor Wittman, Brown anticipates critical lessons from their first fight will be reinforced, leading to strategic adjustments.
In the end, Brown opines, the winner might boil down to who possesses the stronger desire to win. “If I had to speculate, I’d put my money on Gaethje,” Brown confessed. “But remember, it’s a conjecture. I just hope Dustin doesn’t take it too personally,” he added, jokingly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC 291 Rematch
Who are the fighters in the rematch at UFC 291?
The fighters in the rematch at UFC 291 are Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier.
What does Matt Brown believe about Justin Gaethje’s motivation in this rematch?
Matt Brown believes that Justin Gaethje’s desire to avenge his previous loss to Dustin Poirier could be a stronger motivating factor than Poirier’s aim to achieve a second victory.
How did their first fight end?
In their first fight, Dustin Poirier managed to defeat Justin Gaethje after three intense rounds with a series of powerful punches.
What records do both fighters hold since their first meeting?
Since their first meeting, both Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier have fought eight times, securing a record of 6 wins and 2 losses each.
Who is the favorite to win the rematch according to Matt Brown?
Matt Brown seems to lean towards Justin Gaethje as the potential winner of the rematch at UFC 291.