UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje airs live on pay-per-view on Saturday, October 24. MMA event takes place at Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE aka “Fight Island”. The main card has been set, featuring a total of six bouts.
In the main event of UFC 254 the reigning undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) faces off interim 155-pound titleholder Justin Gaethje (22-2). The pair squares off in a five-round championship unification with an undisputed title on the line.
Nurmagomedov last fought a year ago back in Abu Dhabi, where he submitted Dustin Poirier in the third round and made the second successful defense of his belt. In October 2018 he submitted Conor McGregor in Round 4, after earning a vacant title by unanimous decision against Al Iaquinta earlier the same year.
Gaethje was in action this past May in Jacksonville, FL, where he replaced “The Eagle”, who couldn’t fly out of Russia due to shut borders amid pandemic. He TKO’d Tony Ferguson in Round 5 and earned an interim lightweight belt. Prior to that “The Highlight” scored a trio of first-round stoppages against Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza and James Vick.
Robert Whittaker vs Jared Cannonier – UFC 254 co-main event
The co-main event at UFC 254 is scheduled to see former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (21-5) up against Jared Cannonier (13-4). The 185-pound bout was initially announced early August. It was made official as a co-headliner of the upcoming pay-per-view fight card this past Sunday, during UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa (check out live blog here).
Whittaker is coming off the win by unanimous decision against Darren Till. The pair battled it out in the headliner of UFC Fight Night card held this past July, culminating the first round of UFC events on Fight Island. In October 2019 “The Reaper” lost middleweight title, when he got KO’d in Round 2 by current champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 in Melbourne.
Cannonier hasn’t fought since September 2019 when he stopped Jack Hermansson in the second round. Before that he TKO’d Anderson Silva and David Branch in the first and second rounds, respectively.
UFC 254 main card
In addition to Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje, and Robert Whittaker vs Jared Cannonier, UFC 254 PPV fight card features four additional matchups. Right before the co-main event, Alexander Volkov faces Walt Harris at heavyweight, following a lightweight bout between Islam Makhachev and Rafael dos Anjos. Also on the main card Cynthia Calvillo and Lauren Murphy do women’s MMA battle at flyweight, and Magomed Ankalaev takes on Ion Cutelaba at light heavyweight.
The current lineup looks as the following:
- Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje
- Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier
- Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris
- Islam Makhachev vs. Rafael dos Anjos
- Cynthia Calvillo vs. Lauren Murphy
- Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba
The preliminary and early preliminary cards are expected to be finalized and announced shortly.