UFC 291 is in the books and what a night we had! Not only was the card stacked from top to bottom but we hardly saw a boring fight. With only 2 out of 11 fights ending via decisions, there was no shortage of finishes and Justin Gaethje may well have had the best one of the night.
Taking on Dustin Poirier at UFC 291 for the BMF title, Justin Gaethje was literally ‘The Highlight’ of the night. Years of being one of the most violent and entertaining fighters, Gaethje was an easy pick for the contest. Facing him was Poirier, a man with a similar reputation who had already beaten Gaethje once.
This angle of Justin Gaethje’s KO is incredible 😍 pic.twitter.com/TLlg7pQ7Ph
— MMA Orbit (@mma_orbit) July 30, 2023
As such, come fight night, fans expected an absolute banger out of both fighters. For the most part, the fight began as you’d expect. Gaethje chipped away with leg kicks whilst Poirier landed some good shots to his opponent’s face. Coming into round 2, Gaethje looked worse for wear but out of nowhere landed an outrageous head kick, sending a limp Poirier straight to the canvas.
Renowned for his damaging leg kicks, no one could have imagined Gaethje throwing a head kick like that. Thus, what many expected to be a long drawn-out brawl, was ended with a moment of brilliance. Understandably, the entire arena went ballistic, with teammate Kamaru Usman unable to control his emotions. As such, Jorge Masvidal then reluctantly put the BMF title on Gaethje’s shoulder, passing on the torch.
How much did Justin Gaethje make for his BMF title win?
As mentioned previously, 9 out of 11 fights ended in finishes. Thus, being one of the most insane finishes of the night, Gaethje was rightfully awarded a Performance of the Night Bonus. As such, along with taking home the BMF title and yet another bonus, Gaethje reportedly pocketed a solid $1,365,000 ($1.3 million) for his showing at UFC 291.
Following his win, there was a lot of talk regarding what would be next for Gaethje. With the way the lightweight division is shaping up, it is almost certain that Justin is next in line for the title shot. Speaking to Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview, Gaethje shared his thoughts. “You know what I wanna do next. I want to fight for the world championship. These guys (Islam and Charles) are fighting in October, and I want to prove I’m the best in the world. Win, lose, or draw, max effort is what you’re gonna get out of me.”
— UFC (@ufc) July 30, 2023
At the same time, Gaethje has also attracted efforts from elsewhere. Notably, Justin’s head kick KO caught the attention of Conor McGregor. With still no update on his fight with Chandler, Conor seemingly threw that fight out of the window and asked Gaethje to call for his shot instead. Whilst it may have seemed surprising for many, it appeared that McGregor was in fact serious with his call out.
Responding to McGregor’s comments, Gaethje clarified that he wasn’t interested in fighting ‘someone on steroids’. With the accusations running rampant and McGregor delaying stepping into the testing pool, there is a firm belief in the community that the Irishman is definitely using. Thus, Gaethje outright refused to fight McGregor and seems determined to fight for the title next.