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UFC 254 by the numbers: Head-to-head look at Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje

How Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje compare in key stats

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A much anticipated lightweight title fight headlines Saturday’s UFC 254 pay-per-view card. In that contest, UFC lightweight titleholder Khabib Nurmagomedov puts his belt — and his perfect 28-0 — record on the line against interim titleholder Justin Gaethje, who has yet to go the distance as a UFC fighter.

Nurmagomedov captured the vacant belt in 2018 with a decision win over late replacement Al Iaquinta. Since taking possession of the 155-pound belt, Nurmagomedov has had two successful defenses of that title. In October 2018, he forced Conor McGregor to tap to a neck crank, and in September 2019 he submitted Dustin Poirier via rear-naked choke.

Gaethje joined the UFC in 2017 after a two-year reign as the World Series of Fighting lightweight champion. He opened his UFC career with a 4-2 record. In May 2020 he faced Tony Ferguson for the interim title. Gaethje ended Ferguson’s 12-fight winning streak via a fifth-round TKO.

The most interesting stats heading into this matchup are Nurmagomedov’s takedowns, the takedown defense of both fighters and the power strikes of Gaethje.

Before Saturday’s UFC 254 pay-per-view card takes place, here is a look at how the main event competitors line up in the most important statistical categories.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje Head-To-Head Stats

Fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov Justin Gaethje
Fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov Justin Gaethje
Sig. Strikes Landed per Min. 4.11 7.74
Striking Accuracy % 49 59
Sig. Strikes Absorbed per Min. 1.65 8.37
Striking Defense % 67 54
Takedown Avg. per 15 Min. 5.35 0.00
Takedown Accuracy % 47 0
Takedown Defense % 84 80
Submission Avg Per 15 Min. 0.7 0.0