Two top-ranked lightweights and former interim champions square off for a different title when Dustin Poirier meets Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 291 on Saturday night. While our full UFC 291 best bets feature picks across the card, here are our Poirier vs. Gaethje UFC picks based on the odds from our best sportsbooks.
On the surface, the BMF (Baddest Mother … well, you get the idea) title is a glorified gimmick. A belt to strap around someone’s waist following a main event in which neither man has really tasted true gold. This won’t necessarily be the case on Saturday night.
Sure, the winner doesn't really win anything other than the fight, but both Poirier and Gaethje are absolutely elite lightweights, and a stirring victory could potentially bump the victor into a title shot.
Over five years ago, Poirier and Gaethje faced each other in an electrifying and tumultuous bout, culminating with Poirier sealing the victory with a powerful left hand. Since that encounter, Gaethje's journey has mirrored Poirier's in many ways. Both fighters have attained interim championship titles and maintained records of six wins and two losses. Crucially, they have both experienced defeat against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira when the true championship was at stake.
With that in mind, who will be the latest BMF? Poirier or Gaethje? Here is our best Poirier vs. Gaethje pick for UFC 291 (odds via our best sports betting apps; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Poirier vs. Gaethje pick
Over 2.5 rounds (-125 via PointsBet) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Considering the terrifying firepower generally unleashed by these two men, this might be seen as a bit of a risky pick. It might also be seen as a bit of a coward’s pick since I didn’t choose an outright winner.
That said, I feel there’s some value in backing the Over. Despite the hellacious violence on display during the first fight, Poirier didn’t polish Gaethje off until early in the fourth stanza. On top of that, “The Diamond” has seen the third round in each of his last two bouts, and five of his past seven. The iron-chinned Gaethje actually saw the judge’s scorecards following his last trip to the Octagon, and has made it to the third round three times in his last five fights.
I envision more of the same on Saturday night. These tough-as-leather lightweights will inflict and absorb punishment for at least three frames with a winner being violently decided at some point in the championship rounds.
Poirier vs. Gaethje best odds
With every other sportsbook listing the Over at -130 to -140, PointsBet is the clear winner here at -125. This is the kind of fight that could go either way, so -125 for it to get just past the halfway point is a bit of a no-brainer, especially if you consider how the first fight went.
If you’re backing Poirier to emerge victorious again, you can pick him up at -150 with most major sportsbooks. Those looking to throw some dough behind the underdog can snatch Gaethje as high as +130 with our DraftKings promo code for Poirier vs. Gaethje.
Poirier vs. Gaethje fight info
Date: Saturday, July 29, 2023
TV: PPV, ESPN+
Location: Delta Center, Salt Lake City, UT
Poirier-Gaethje pick made 7/28/2023 at 11 p.m. ET
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