UFC on Fox 29 doesn’t have a city or a venue yet, but it’s now got a main event and it’s a potential thriller.
Lightweights Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier will square off in a five-round lightweight headliner for the company's primetime, network television headliner. The promotion announced the fight on Monday evening. While the site for the event has yet to be determined, UFC on Fox 29 is scheduled for April 14.
After winning the World Series of Fighting lightweight crown and racking up a 17-0 record, the all-action Gaethje made his way to the UFC in 2017 and though he tasted his first pro career defeat, he did not disappoint: at “The Ultimate Fighter 26” Finale in July, the 29-year-old outlasted and halted Michael Johnson in the second round of Sherdog’s “Fight of the Year,” then returned at UFC 218, where he eventually succumbed to the strikes of Eddie Alvarez in perhaps the year’s second most exciting MMA bout.
Poirier, also 29, has lost just once in his last eight Octagon appearances and is coming off of a bloody, dominant third-round stoppage of former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in their UFC Fight Night 120 headliner on Nov. 11. However, Poirier seemed to have designs on facing the man who conquered Gaethje in July.
“It's writing itself. I called it after I beat [Pettis],” Poirier told FloCombat in December. “I'm going to fight the winner [of Alvarez vs. Gaethje]. Now it's gonna be me and Eddie, winner gets a title shot.”
Poirier and Alvarez initially met at UFC 211 last May. After a back-and-forth nine minutes of heavy exchanges, Alvarez landed a pair of illegal knees while Poirier was still grounded. The bout was deemed a No Contest.
"I don't like the guy personally,” Poirier elaborated to FloCombat in the wake of UFC 218. “I used to be a big fan of him. I still respect his fighting style. He's a dog, he's a warrior, he's down but never out in fights. I believe that truly. But I used to really respect the guy and look up to him. Now he's a piece of s---.”