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UFC 291 Betting Tips: BMF belt on the line and a potential Tony Ferguson swansong

UFC 291 is upon us and Saturday's main card has plenty of potential for violence and entertainment.

Headlining the card is a bout for the ages, as perennial lightweight contender Dustin Poirier faces knockout artist Justin Gaethje. The pair will compete for the officially unofficial 'BMF' belt that Jorge Masvidal gave up on retirement.

Their precursor is a UFC light-heavyweight championship clash between former champions Jan Blachowicz and Alex Pereira. Further down the card, fan favourite Tony Ferguson could feature for the final time.

Here, Planet Sport takes a look at where you could put your money this weekend.

Dustin Poirier v Justin Gaethje

The pair have met once before, in 2018, and while the war earned them both Fight of the Night bonuses, it was Poirier who walked away the victor via a fourth-round TKO. Strangely round, their careers have been in symmetry ever since.
The only losses they would chalk up would be to the legendary Khabib Nurmagovedov and Charles Oliveira, all by submission. However, you can be sure there'll be no submissions on Saturday night. Last time out, Poirier and Gaethje fought in a phone booth and it shouldn't be any different in Salt Lake City.

Prediction: Poirier by TKO.

Jan Blachowicz v Alex Pereira

Pereira made a strong start to his UFC career, blitzing his way to a title shot against middleweight overlord Israel Adesanya, which he grabbed with both hands. But after losing the rematch, the Brazilian has jumped up weight class, where former champion Blachowicz awaits.

His legendary Polish power has earned him nine KO wins, but Blachowicz's likely path to victory is down on the mat with his wrestling. However, Pereira will be bigger than him in the cage, making takedown difficult. Watch Pereira's right-cross do work.

Prediction: Pereira via majority decision

Stephen Thompson v Michael Pereira

If you were directing an action film, this fight could honestly feature. Thompson's karate style makes for highlight-reel knockouts and when matched against Pereira's capoeira, fans can expect a wild fight.
While Thompson is coming off an impressive TKO victory over Kevin Holland, his Brazillian opponent is on a five-fight win streak and is 11 years his junior and has a relentless fighting pace.

Prediction: Pereira via unanimous decision

Tony Ferguson v Bobby Green

In what could be his final appearance in the octagon, the once-great Ferguson is looking to stop a five-fight slide against Green on Saturday. In what is sure to be a bloody affair, the 39-year-old meets another battle-hardened veteran in Green, who is coming off two losses and a no-contest in April.
The unorthodox Ferguson has many tricks and he's smart to get the fight to the ground where his black belt-level jiu-jitsu can when the fight for him.

Prediction: Ferguson via submission

Michael Chesia v Kevin Holland

The durable Holland meets the wrestler Chiesa in a classic 'styles make fights' battle. Chiesa is yet to knock out anyone in his MMA career, preferring to go through the dirty work of earning a submission.

However, Holland is no slouch on the ground and has the punching power to KO most on the feet, as was evident in his walk-off knockout of Santiago Ponzinibbio in April, the 14th of his career.

Prediction: Holland via unanimous decision

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