clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 254 fight card primer: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje

It’s the title fight we’ve all been waiting for, as the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

The main event of UFC 254 will determine the undisputed UFC lightweight champion as the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA; 12-0 UFC) puts his title on the line against interim champion Justin Gaethje (22-2 MMA; 5-2 UFC). UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje airs live from “Fight Island”, Abu Dhabi this Saturday, October 24th. The card has an earlier fight time than usual, specifically to suit a Eastern audience, with the main card kicking off at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT, with the prelims starting at 12:00 p.m. ET on FS1 and 10:30 a.m. ET on Fight Pass.

How do these two stack up?

Nurmagomedov: 32 years old | 5’10” | 70” reach
Gaethje: 31 years old | 5’11” | 70” reach

What have these two done recently?

Nurmagomedov: W - Dustin Poirier (SUB) | W - Conor McGregor (SUB) | W - Al Iaquinta (DEC)

Gaethje: W - Tony Ferguson (TKO) | W - Donald Cerrone (TKO) | W - Edson Barboza (TKO)

How did these two get here?

It’s been an extremely tough year for Khabib Nurmagomedov. It looked likely the Russian’s long awaited fight with Tony Ferguson was going to go ahead at UFC 249 in May, but as it’s done for all of sports COVID-19 took effect and the fight was off. The following month Khabib would tragically lose his father and coach, Abdulmanap, from complications of the virus and the lightweight champion’s UFC future was in question. Khabib will now compete in his first UFC fight since September 2019 against Gaethje, as he hopes to defend his title for third consecutive time.

Justin Gaethje has been labelled the man who possesses all the tools to hand Khabib his first career loss. “The Highlight” has bounced back from his losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier by stopping his last four opponents in the octagon. Gaethje’s most recent win was a fifth-round TKO against Tony Ferguson, Gaethje won the interim title by handing Ferguson his first loss in eight years and snapping his 12-fight winning streak in the process.

Why should you care?

It’s probably the biggest title fight of the calendar year, you have to watch it.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow