Saturday in Abu Dhabi, the most dominant champion in the UFC meets arguably the toughest test of his career when lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov battles interim champ Justin Gaethje. The fight will serve as the main event of the UFC 254 pay-per-view, which emanates from Fight Island.
Gaethje enters the showdown with four straight TKOs, including three in the first round over James Vick, Edson Barboza and Donald Cerrone. “The Highlight” has yet to see the judges’ scorecards since joining UFC back in 2017 and the last decision of his career came in 2014 against Melvin Guillard under the WSOF banner. He’s fresh off a demolition of perennial title contender Tony Ferguson in May, ending “El Cucuy”‘s 10-fight win streak.
Plus, the co-main event sees a de facto middleweight title eliminator take place as former champ Robert Whittaker takes on veteran Jared Cannonier. Whittaker rebounded nicely from his TKO loss to Israel Adesanya with a decision win over Darren Till earlier this summer. Cannonier, meanwhile, has won three straight since dropping to 185 pounds, but none of his opponents have been the level of Whittaker.
UFC 254 fight card, odds
- Khabib Nurmagomedov (c) -330 vs. Justin Gaethje (ic) +260, lightweight title
- Jared Cannonier -115 vs. Robert Whittaker -105, middleweights
- Alexander Volkov -180 vs. Walt Harris +155, heavyweights
- Phillip Hawes -260 vs. Jacob Malkoun +210, middleweights
- Lauren Murphy -195 vs. Liliya Shakirova +165, women’s flyweights
- Magomed Ankalaev -330 vs. Ion Cutelaba +260, light heavyweights
- Tai Tuivasa -125 vs. Stefan Struve +105, heavyweights
- Shavkat Rakhmonov -120 vs. Alex Oliveira +100 , welterweights
- Da-Un Jung -360 vs. Sam Alvey +280, light heavyweights
- Casey Kenney -170 vs. Nathaniel Wood +145, catchweights
- Miranda Maverick -400 vs. Liana Jojua +310, women’s flyweights
- Joel Alvarez -170 vs. Alexander Yakovlev +145, lightweights
This is a weird one. Normally UFC events have the same start times, this time round it’s absolutely topsy turvy so pay close attention to the times below. For those in other regions, the UFC has a great list of start times.
- The main card starts Oct. 24, 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT).
- The prelims start Oct. 24, 12 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT).
- The early prelims start Oct. 24, 10.15 a.m. ET (7.15 a.m. PT).
- The main card starts Oct. 24, 7 p.m. BST.
- The prelims start Oct. 24, 5 p.m. BST.
- The early prelims start Oct 24, 3.15 BST.
- The main card starts Oct. 25, 5 a.m. AEDT.
- The prelims start Oct. 25, 3 a.m. AEDT.
- The early prelims start Oct. 25, 1.15 a.m. AEDT.