Last Updated on 17 Sep 2021 1:41 pm (UK Time)
Main Card Preview UFC 254:
UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje will take place on October 24, 2020, at the Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Khabib will look to defend his UFC title against Justin Gaethje in a fight Island classic for the ages. The co-main event features former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker taking on rising top contender Jared Cannonier.
The 3 Fights To Look Forward To;
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje
Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his UFC lightweight title at UFC 254 with an incredible unbeaten record of 28-0. He is a formidable champion and the most dominant fighter in MMA history, but this is incredibly only his third title defence.
He won the belt in a unanimous decision over Al Iaquinta and then defeated Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier in his most recent title defences via submission. Khabib has faced some of the toughest strikers lightweight can offer.. all except one. Justin Gaethje.
Justin Gaethje’s style provides pure violence and all action. He is well known for slinging leather until either him or his opponent fall. This style has led Justin to fight bonuses in all of his UFC contests. Gaethje’s ruthless approach to fighting and lack of care for taking punishment was always going to catch up to him.
Against Poirer and Alvarez he fell short, but noticeably inflicted an enormous amount of damage on his two opponents and these losses taught Justin what he needed to do next. What we saw next was efficient knockouts of opponents leading to a clinical performance against Tony Ferguson when finally it all came together and Justin looked a complete fighter.
He could well provide the biggest threat of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s career. Make sure to tune in this Saturday to see if Khabib can go to 29-0.
Robert Whittaker vs Jarod Cannonier
The winner, especially if Cannonier wins, would most likely be next in line for a shot at Israel Adesanya.
Whittaker’s comes into this after a decision verdict over Darren Till, meanwhile, Cannonier has looked unstoppable when finishing recent opponents. Whittaker has undoubtedly the better record and has proven himself to be world-class, but is he shopworn?
Whittaker has historically struggled with technical strikers with linear punches and the ability to counter his bursts, getting finished by both Stephen Wonderboy Thompson and more recently Israel Adesanya. Cannonier has that patient style and arguably even more power than the two opponents that stopped Whittaker.
This could be the coming-out party for Cannonier or Whittaker’s time to remind everyone why he is a former world champion.
Magomed Ankalaev vs Ion Cuțelaba
In the first contest between these two, it started as it finished, it was clear that Ankalaev was the more polished striker and he certainly stung Cutelaba who had to resort to acting hurt, to try bait Ankalaev to step into the pocket.
The fight was prematurely stopped and they face off again this weekend. Wildman Cutelaba will have to look to enforce a similar pressurising style if he is to get Ankalaev to engage in a fistfight again. This fight starts off the PPV portion of the card and for good reason because this has fireworks written all over it.
UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje Main Card
Khabib Nurmagomedov (C) v Justin Gaethje (IC) – Lightweight
Robert Whittaker v Jared Cannonier – Middleweight
Alexander Volkov v Walt Harris – Heavyweight
Jacob Malkoun v Phillip Hawes – Middleweight
Lauren Murphy v Liliya Shakirova – Women’s flyweight
Magomed Ankalaev v Ion Cutelaba – Light heavyweight
UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje Prelims
Stefan Struve v Tai Tuivasa – Heavyweight
Alex Oliveira v Shavkat Rakhmonov – Welterweight
Da-un Jung v Sam Alvey – Light heavyweight