Khabib Nurmagomedov VS Justin Gaethje



Arguably MMA’s current biggest draw, Khabib Nurmagomedov finally gets to head back into the Octagon on Saturday with his lightweight title on the line, marking his first fight in over a year.

UFC fans had hoped for year’s that the Russian star would get to face off against lightweight legend Tony Ferguson, but after five failed attempts at making the superfight happen, any such plans were upended back in May at UFC 249.

But in one of UFC’s biggest upsets in recent times, Ferguson was taken down fellow American Justin Gaethje via TKO in a five-round classic. The victory saw Gaethje crowned  interim UFC lightweight champ, and set him on a course for Saturday’s big fight.

With 28 wins and no losses, reigning undisputed UFC Lightweight champ Nurmagomedov holds the longest active undefeated streak in MMA, famously coming to the world’s attention after beating Conor McGregor at UFC 229.

Despite holding an immaculate record, Khabib looks set to have potentially his toughest encounter yet in the Octagon, with Gaethje having an impressive CV of his own, having won 86% of his 22 victories by KO or TKO.

Khabib has a declared goal of reaching a 30-0 record, leading many to suspect this could be his penultimate appearance as a UFC fighter. With his unmatched grappling skills, and superior stamina, its hard to see him giving up his unblemished record. Nevertheless, Gaethje has played the role of winning underdog before, and with his deadly jabs and hooks, will hold no fear of pulling off another upset on Saturday.

Read on to discover all you need to know about UFC 254 or, if you just want to know where to watch the event from your corner of the globe, head straight on over to our dedicated UFC 254 live stream info page.

Who is Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Born in Russia’s Dagestan Republic, Khabib Nurmagomedov is a two-time Russian Combat Sambo and two-time World Sambo Champion, whose meteoric rise through the MMA ranks to become one of UFC’s biggest ever names.The undisputed lightweight champion cherishes his immaculate UFC record of 28 wins and no losses and has spoken of his intention to retire as an undefeated fighter.

Who is Justin Gaethje?

Born in Safford, Arizona, Justin Gaethje is an orthodox lightweight fighter who made his pro MMA debut in August 2011.Despite early setbacks which saws him lose his second and third pro fights, the  31-year-old has gone on to notch up a formidable 22 wins over the course of his 24-fight career, with 19 of this victories impressively coming via knockouts.

Who is the favorite to win the Khabib vs Gaethje fight?

Khabib’s intimidating reputation goes before him, with the undisputed lightweight champ odds-on favorite with most bookies to win the showdown on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

When did Khabib and Gaethje last step into the cage?

Khabib’s last fight and second defence of his title came all the way back in September 2019 against American challenger Dustin Poirier in the main event at UFC 242. The Russian won the bout via a choke submission in the third round.Gaethje’s last visit to the Octagon was a dominant, yet shock win over the heavily fancied Tony Ferguson via TKO in the fifth round at UFC 249 back in May 2020. That fight had originally been planned to feature Khabib as Ferguson’s opponent, but with the Russian unable to travel due to coronavirus restrictions, Gaethje stepped in at short notice.