Dustin Poirier, Benoit Saint Denis to be UFC 299 co-main event

The UFC has added a major lightweight matchup between Dustin Poirier and Benoit Saint Denis to its pay-per-view in March, UFC CEO Dana White announced Sunday evening.

The 155-pound contest will serve as the co-main event of UFC 299 on March 9 in Miami. It will consist of five rounds, instead of the traditional three-round length for non-title fights.

Poirier (29-8) hasn't fought since he suffered a head kick knockout to Justin Gaethje in July. The former interim lightweight champion has made only one appearance in back-to-back years, after fighting three times in 2021. Poirier is the No. 3-ranked lightweight in the UFC, behind champion Islam Makhachev, No. 1-ranked contender Charles Oliveira and Gaethje. He is 4-2 in his past six fights, including two wins over Conor McGregor.

Originally from Louisiana, Poirier fights out of American Top Team in south Florida.

It's a big opportunity for Saint Denis (13-1), who will look to crack the top-10 rankings for the first time in his UFC career. The French lightweight is on a five-fight win streak, after dropping his UFC debut in 2021. He has finished all five of his UFC wins, three by knockout and two by submission.

A bantamweight title fight between Sean O'Malley and Marlon "Chito" Vera is set to headline UFC 299 at the Kaseya Center.