Head kick! UFC 291: Justin Gaethje KOs Dustin Poirier – Results, play-by-play, video highlights

Follow the play-by-play results of UFC 291's main event.

By: Jack Wannan | 4 months ago

Justin Gaethje avenged a loss he took to Dustin Poirier more than a half-deacde ago on Saturday night, overcoming him in the UFC 291 main event. Gaethje finished Poirier in the second round with a head kick, finishing their bout after a close opening frame.

Their headlining bout from the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, had a novelty belt on the line, as the duo competed for UFC’s “B.M.F” (Baddest Motherf*) belt. The title was originally introduced in 2019 for a welterweight bout between Jorge Masdvidal and Nate Diaz.

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‘BMF’ title is for fun, but Saturday’s UFC 291 result is no joke

The “B.M.F” title moved down to a weight class when Poirier and Gaethje collided. And while the title holds no real relevance, Saturday’s match was certainly relevant for the lightweight division. Poirier and Gaethje came into this bout ranked second and third at 155 pounds respectively.

Our play-by-play of the main event bout can be seen below. Also, we have some highlights and quick results for the card lower in the article as well.

UFC 291 poster

UFC 291 Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje 2 play-by-play

Round 1

The lightweights traded some leg kicks to start. Gaethje scored another tap to Poirier’s lead leg. Gaethje threw a two-punch combo in the first minute that Poirier seemingly blocked but garnered an “ooh!” from the live audience. Poirier was the advancing fighter already in this bout, backing Gaethje up to the perimeter of the octagon. Gaethje scored with a nice punch to the body in the second minute.

Gaethje threw a high kick in the third minute that Poirier blocked. Gaethje scored with a counter-right hand and then landed with another leg kick. Both fighters then connected with a punch each during an exchange. Poirier landed a punch in the fourth minute that seemingly backed up and rocked Gaethje.

One of Gaethje’s eyes was bothering him at this point, slightly distracting him for moments. Poirier came in with a right hook that connected with just over a minute to go. A cut started to open around the left eye of Gaethje around this point. Pace slowed in the final minute of the round, but they both scored with a clean punch each just before the round concluded. This was a close one where they both had moments. It’s hard to score it, but I’ll have to go 10-9 Gaethje due to the amount of successful work he put in.

Round 2

Second round off to a slow first few moments. Poirier is still the advancing fighter, mostly. Gaethje threw a right then connected with a clean head kick that knocked Poirier down, causing referee Herb Dean to step in and end this one. After a close first round, it was all over in an instant just a few minutes later. Gaethje is your big winner tonight.

UFC 291 RESULT: Justin Gaethje def. Dustin Poirier via KO (head kick) at 1:00 in Round 2

UFC 291 quick results

Main Card (10 p.m. ET) (PPV)

  • Lightweight: Justin Gaethje def. Dustin Poirier via KO (head kick) at 1:00 in Round 2
  • Light Heavyweight: Alex Pereira def. Jan Blachowicz via split decision (29-28 Pereira, 29-28 Blachowicz & 29-28 Pereira)
  • Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima via TKO (strikes) at 0:33 in Round 1
  • Lightweight: Bobby Green def. Tony Ferguson via submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:54 in Round 3
  • Welterweight: Kevin Holland def. Michael Chiesa via submission (darce choke) at 2:39 in Round 1

Preliminary Card (8 p.m. ET) (ABC / ESPN / ESPN+)

  • Welterweight: Gabriel Bonfim def. Trevin Giles via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:13 in Round 1
  • Flyweight: CJ Vergara def. Vinicius Salvador via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28)
  • Middleweight: Roman Kopylov def. Claudio Ribeiro via TKO (strikes) at 0:33 in Round 2
  • Welterweight: Jake Matthews def. Darrius Flowers via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:37 in Round 2

Early Prelims (7 p.m. ET) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)

  • Welterweight: Uros Medic def. Matthew Semelsberger via TKO (punches) at 2:36 in Round 3
  • Flyweight: Miranda Maverick def. Priscila Cachoeira via submission (armbar) at 2:11 in Round 3
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About the author
Jack Wannan
Jack Wannan

Jack Wannan is a reporter for Bloody Elbow. He joined the site in 2023 after previously writing for MMA-Prospects.com and Knockdown News. He is currently in the process of earning a bachelor's degree in journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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