UFC 291 will be taking place this weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah live from The Delta Center. The five-bout main card gets started at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 29, and will be highlighted by a lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje for the ceremonial “BMF” championship.
The co-main event is a light heavyweight title eliminator between former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz and former middleweight champion Alex Pereira. It’s expected that the winner of this bout will receive a title shot against returning former champion Jiri Prochazka at the end of the year or in early 2024.
Both fighters are betting -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook, making this an even fight.
Pereira (7-2) has only had four fights in the UFC and two of them were against Israel Adesanya. He beat Adesanya by stoppage in the fifth round to win the UFC Middleweight title at UFC 281. Adesanya demanded an immediate rematch and got it at UFC 287.
Whereas in the first fight, Adesanya controlled the action for much of the fight until Pereira could use his size and power to take down the champion midway through the final round. For the second fight, it was expected Pereira would improve some aspects of his game.
He was more aggressive early in the second fight and tried to walk Adesanya down and keep him up against the cage. That style worked for one round and things were going well in the second when Pereira unleashed a flurry of strikes only for Adesanya to connect with a perfect 1-2 counter that dropped Pereia. Adesanya added a few hammer fists to secure the win and regain his title. Even in the loss, Pereira landed 55 percent of his significant strikes (49-of-85), but it was Adesanya who landed the most significant strike in the contest.