UFC 291 is taking place on Saturday from Salt Lake City, Utah, and the main event is a lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. There is no official UFC gold on the line, but the winner of the fight will be given the “BMF” belt. The BMF belt is a celebratory title that is short for “baddest motherf****r”. Jorge Masvidal last won the BMF belt after beating Nate Diaz in November 2019, and Masvidal is expected to wrap the BMF belt around the winner’s waist inside the octagon.

The co-main event is a light heavyweight bout between former UFC champions Jan Blachowicz and Alex Pereira. This is Pereira’s first fight at light heavyweight as he moves up from middleweight to transition to a new weight class. After this fight was booked, UFC light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill unexpectedly vacated the title after rupturing his Achilles tendon playing basketball, so this fight could have major title implications.

Here are our staff’s favorite free picks on the UFC 291 card (for daily best bets visit our subscription page)…

Dustin Poirier (29-7) vs. Justin Gaethje (24-4)

In the main event of UFC 291, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje are set for their highly-anticipated rematch, and the BMF belt is up for grabs.  In the first fight, the two went at it right away, and it still made it to the fourth round.  In the rematch, we like the fight to go over 2.5 rounds, as it should be a slower-paced fight to start out.  Both men know if they lose, they likely won’t get another crack at the lightweight title.  Additionally, both Poirier and Gaethje are super durable when it comes to striking. The way to beat them is by submission, or by an overwhelming amount of damage late in the fight. In Poirier’s last 10 fights, he has gone over 2.5 rounds in seven — including the Gaethje fight.  In Gaethje’s last five, three fights have gone over the 2.5 rounds total that is currently set at.

Free Pick:  Over 2.5 Rounds (-120) at MyBookie

UFC 291

Vinicius Salvador (14-5) vs. C.J. Vergara (11-4-1)

There aren’t many underdogs on Saturday’s UFC 291 card that we like, but Vinicius Salvador is definitely one we can get behind.  Salvador lost a close decision in his debut, while C.J. Vergara is 2-2 in his UFC career. Last time out, he beat Daniel Lacerda, who gasses out badly in his fights. Even in that matchup, Vergara almost got finished.  Both Salvador and Vergara throw a ton of volume, and both get hit quite a bit.  However, we think Salvador is the better striker and also has the wrestling advantage.

This is a coin-flip type of fight, so on a fight I believe is 50-50, we will always go with the underdog.  When push comes to shove, we like Salvador’s striking better than Vergara.

Free Pick: Vinicius Salvador (+125) at BetOnline

UFC 291

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