Join us today on Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion, round scoring, and play-by-play as UFC 254 goes down on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
One of the biggest lightweight fights in years will serve as the main event today, with undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov meeting interim champ Justin Gaethje. The co-main will see former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker sharing the cage with the surging Jared Cannonier. The winner of that bout could be meeting 185-pound kingpin Israel Adesanya next.
This post will cover the headlining fight between Khabib and Gaethje.
To cater to the European fanbase that loves Khabib (and the time change from Abu Dhabi), UFC 254 will kick off early in North America. The prelims will begin with two Fight Pass fights (that will also air on ESPN+) at 11am ET/8am PT. Things will move to ESPN 2 (and remain on ESPN+) for four more prelim fights at Noon ET/9am ET. Then the card will shift to PPV at 2pm ET/11am PT for six main card contests.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje
Round 1 - Measured start. Gaethje with an inside leg kick. Khabib feinting. One minute in. Gaethje spins and missed. Another inside leg kick. Khabib scores with the right, Gaethje counters well. Khabib misses with a lead uppercut, but lands a jab. Leg kick from Gaethj. Khabib tries to get a hold of Gaethje but can’t. Nice straight left from Khabib. Right hook and a kick from Gaethje. Body kick and a jab from Khabib. Huge step-in knee from Khabib! Gaethje just walks through it. Head kick from Gaethje is blocked. Khabib back to the jab, and a right. Body kick from Gaethje. Flying knee misses from Khabib. They trade lefts, now they trade kicks. Gaethje circles a bunch, then stops and lands to the body and head. Hard. Low kick form Gaethje. Right over the top and a right from Khabib. Counter from Gaethje. Khabib shoots and Gaethje is on his back. Straight to mount for Khabib. He looks for a late armbar! I can barely keep up. 10-9 Khabib.
Round 2 - Left from Gaethje. Leg kick from Khabib. Front kick misses. Another left hook from Gaethje. Khabib shoots but is swatted away. Hard leg kick from Gaethje. He didn’t like that. Another leg kick. A third, as Khabib is shooting in. And he still gets the takedown. Wow. Right to mount! He’s looking for a topside triangle armbar! He rolls to his back and Gaethje taps! The ref didn’t see it! Gaethje goes to sleep! WOWOWOW! Khabib is incredible.
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Justin Gaethje via submission (triangle choke), 1:34 of round 2