Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his lightweight title and MMA record of 28-0 against the American contender Justin Gaethje, who will fight the champ after an unlikely run of wins against some top-tier fighters. Gaethje overcame the one who was lined up to face Khabib next Tony Ferguson, beating Ferguson in convincing fashion and taking the round in the fifth via strikes.
For Khabib, he’ll see this as just another contender to put back in their place. While Gaethje does have 4 wins in his last 5, it’s simply not something that will worry a man that has won every professional fight he’s had. Khabib has destroyed the competition time and time again in the UFC.
We hope this fight is closer than the last few fights for Khabib, but it’s difficult to say if Gaethje has what it takes. Let’s see how things unfold on Saturday, October 24, 2020, on Fight Island, Abu Dhabi.
UFC 254 Picks & Predictions
The event is about a month away, which means the odds are likely to change in the coming weeks, so be sure to keep checking back with this page. Moreover, things may change, fighters may become injured or infected with COVID-19, meaning Dana White will be forced to reschedule some fights.
Beyond that, it’s all top-drawer fights. We’ll run through the fights we think will be worth watching, giving picks and predictions for how the fight might pan out.
UFC 254: Main Fights
Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0-0) vs Justin Gaethje (22-2-0)
Robert Whittaker (22-5-0) vs Jared Cannonier (13-4-0)
Alexander Volkov (31-8-0) vs Walt Harris (13-8-0)
Islam Makhachev (18-1-0) vs Rafael dos Anjos (29-13-0) vs
Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1) vs Lauren Murphy (13-4-0)
Magomed Ankalaev (13-1-0) vs Ion Cutelaba (15-5-0)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (1.33) vs Justin Gaethje (3.30)
Everyone knows what to expect when it comes to the Russian Lightweight Champion, but Gaethje offers a new threat. An unconventional fighter with fast, accurate striking with knockout power.
Then there’s Khabib, who has shown no signs of slowing down. Every contender for the title has been taken apart, systematically pummelled into submission.
What does Gathje possess that can overcome the champ? They’re both brawlers, but if they stay on their feet you feel Gathje could catch the champ off guard. All the top sportsbooks UFC betting odds have Khabib as a clear favourite to win.
However, Khabib is the undefeated champ for a reason and will look to make the American run at his pace, which few can. Unless Gathje lands that killer shot, we feel that it will end “and still!”
Robert Whittaker was upset by the reigning Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who put on a devastating performance at UFC 253 to defend his title against the Brazilian Paulo Costa.
But Adesanya is doing that to everyone in this weight category. Robert Whittaker is a very dangerous fighter and Jared Cannonier will have a tough job on his hands. This will be one all top-rated UFC betting sites pay close attention to as this fight will setup the Adesanya title match.
Cannonier is the older fighter at 36 years old and with a record of 13-4 in his MMA career. He is a very physical fighter, but also offers a great range of striking and can punish the former champ if he is caught off guard as he was in his last bout.
We feel Cannonier is showing improvement in every fight and will take the fight to Whittaker at UFC 254. Expect to see an upset in this one.
The second bout in a series of fights between these two, with Ankalaev winning the previous bout in 38 seconds after the referee saw enough. The decision was met with a great deal of anger, as many felt the fight should have gone on longer.
The light heavyweight bout many will see as the real fight. Ankalaev will look to make this 5 wins in his last 5 fights here – finishing the last two in under a minute.
The Moldovan fighter goes 3-2 for his last five fights but has been promising in recent bouts. This will be a real test, as Ankalaev is looking stronger than ever. Cutelaba has devastating power and if he gets in close he could easily take down the Russian.
Having said that, we feel Ankalaev will have too much on the night. It could easily be a repeat of last time. All the games can be viewed through a variety of streaming sites, UFC Fight Pass, or through the TV – you can find where to watch the UFC here.