The BMF title is back, and Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje will fight for it in the main event of UFC 291 on July 29 at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, UFC president Dana White said. White also announced that a bantamweight title fight between champion Aljamain Sterling and top contender “Suga” Sean O’Malley will be the main event of UFC 292 on Aug. 19 in Boston.
Those were the most noteworthy of a series of bouts White announced on a live social media broadcast Tuesday.
The co-main event of UFC 291 is a battle between former champions. Ex-light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz will meet former middleweight champion Alex Pereira in a 205-pound bout. Also on that card will be a lightweight bout between Tony Ferguson and Bobby Green, a welterweight match between Kevin Holland and Michael Chiesa and a middleweight match between Paulo Costa and Ikram Aliskerov.
White confirmed Tuesday that UFC 292 will have two title fights topping the card. Below Sterling and O’Malley, strawweight champion Zhang Weili will meet Amanda Lemos.
Poirier stopped Gaethje in the fourth round of an April 14, 2018, bout in Glendale, Arizona, winning via strikes. Both have held a version of the interim championship and will now fight for the manufactured BMF belt.
White, when announcing the BMF fight between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, said it was only a one-time thing. Masvidal stopped Diaz at Madison Square Garden with former President Donald Trump in attendance. Actor and former pro wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson presented Masvidal with the title.
Sterling made the third successful defense of his title on May 6 at UFC 288 in Newark, New Jersey, when he defeated ex-double champion Henry Cejudo. O’Malley came into the ring after the bout and there was nearly a physical confrontation between the two.
O’Malley, who is emerging as one of the UFC’s biggest stars, hasn’t fought since winning a split decision over ex-champion Petr Yan at UFC 280 in October.
White also announced what should be a fun welterweight fight between seventh-ranked Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and No. 15 Michel Pereira. Also, heavyweight KO king Derrick Lewis will face Marcos Rogerio de Lima. Both of those are on the UFC 291 card.