Justin Gaethje explained what he must do to defeat Dustin Poirier in their upcoming fight.
On Saturday, July 29, Gaethje and Poirier will headline UFC 291 for the vacant BMF title. This won’t be the first time the action-packed matchup has played out, as Poirier secured a fourth-round TKO win against Gaethje in April 2018.
Since their first fight, the UFC 291 headliners have evolved into elite superstars, making their rematch more intriguing. Gaethje recently did an interview with Daniel Cormier and details what he must do to win on Saturday night:
“I think it’s about creating angles. Less than inches, less than seconds is what we’re dealing with in there, so we gotta create different angles and make him make mistakes, keep him on his backfoot and really commit to shots when he’s moving backwards.”
“Perfect is different for everybody. My perfect is not making mistakes, and I can’t make mistakes against a guy like Dustin Poirier. I can’t find myself against the fence, can’t be in too long of exchanges. He’s gonna punch after I’m done punching, so I gotta make sure I’m not there to be hit.”
Gaethje last fought on March 18, defeating Rafael Fiziev by majority decision in a Fight of the Year contender. Meanwhile, Poirier is coming off a longer layoff, as his last fight was a third-round submission win against Michael Chandler in November 2022.
Justin Gaethje never thinks about the first fight against Dustin Poirier
Justin Gaethje’s loss against Dustin Poirier has been a significant talking point throughout the buildup of UFC 291. Although they have evolved since 2018, some analysts, including Daniel Cormier, have questioned whether the mental impact of losing to someone will be a factor in their rematch.
During the same interview with Cormier, Gaethje had this to say about his loss against Poirier:
“I don’t think about the first fight at all. I was a completely different athlete, different person. With age comes wisdom. I’ve had a lot of experiences since that day, same as him, so I gotta go in there and fight my fight. I’ve had the most success when I’ve been in control, so I gotta stay in control of myself and then be perfect.”
Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 will have added stakes in the UFC 291 main event. The winner on Saturday night is expected to earn a lightweight title shot against Islam Makhachev or Charles Oliveira, who are scheduled to fight on October 21 at UFC 294.
Only time will tell if ‘The Highlight’ can claim his revenge or if ‘The Diamond’ will emerge victorious for the second time.