UFC 254 is finally here, and the hype is real.
The matchup between Justin Gaethje and Khabib Nurmagomedov promises to be the fight of the year. There is no other way of putting it.
The UFC Lightweight Championship belt will be there for whoever wants it more when Gaethje and Khabib met in the UFC 254 main event. The meeting will be at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
? @TeamKhabib vs ? @Justin_Gaethje
[ #UFC254 | Oct 24 | Main Card at 2pmET ] pic.twitter.com/7fTln8DBQj
— UFC (@ufc) October 14, 2020
Let’s break it down.
What the odds say about Khabib vs. Gaethje UFC 254 Fight
|Nurmagomedov Vs. Gaethje Odds To Win|
MyBookie has Khabib as the favorite on the moneyline -354, while Gaethje upset pays +270. The Russian is undefeated, so it’s no surprise.
The total is at 4.5 rounds, with the under having a big juice of -170 at the moment. You can find the over at +140.
What we know about Justin Gaethje
Justin Gaethje earned his spot in this showdown. Make no mistake about it.
His performance against Tony Ferguson was the best of his career, despite taking that fight on short notice. Gaethje overwhelmed Ferguson with aggressiveness, leg kicks, and a nasty left hook.
Ferguson had a 12-fight win streak when he met Justin and looked like the baddest MF’s on the planet. But, Gaethje was not fazed. Instead of waiting, he went on the attack, delivering haymakers for 30 minutes.
I repeat this wasn’t a fluke. Gaethje earned his spot fair and square, even winning nine UFC bonuses in his last seven fights. He has won four contests in a row since losing to Dustin Poirier back in 2018.
All his last nine wins have been via KO/TKO. Only Tony Ferguson, who is a freak of nature when it comes to swallowing punches, held on until the fifth round before the refs stopped the fight.
The interesting thing about fighting Khabib is, the Russian is not a striker per se. If they meet on the ground, Gaethje knows his way around the mat. Justin was a wrestler all his life, although his UFC style has translated into more striking.
“Nothing will happen on the cage. We will fight in the center of the octagon. As much as he’s going to want to fight on the edge of the octagon, we’re going to fight in the center”, Gaethje said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.
What we know about Khabib Nurmagomedov
UFC fans know this, but it still is good to remember. Khabib Nurmagomedov is the best UFC lightweight fighter in the world, and no one comes close. At least for now.
For many, Khabib is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Yet, that discussion is up in the air when you remember Jon Jones still alive.
Either way, Nurmagomedov enters this fight undefeated in 28 contests. 18 of his performances finished either with a TKO/KO or a submission stoppage.
COVID-19 Took Khabib Vs. Tony Away From Us
Khabib should have fought Tony Ferguson back in May, but because of the Coronavirus restrictions worldwide, he couldn’t fly out of Russia.
COVID-19 also took away his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, in July. He was placed in a medically induced coma after contracting COVID-19 following heart surgery and died days later.
Khabib’s father was his trainer and was on his corner for most of his fights. He hasn’t fought since September 2019, when he beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in the third round.
Nurmagomedov has been training with Javier Mendez, a long-time friend from his dad. Khabib and Javier are not unfamiliar to each other as Mendez led the corner when the Russian beat Conor McGregor back in October 2018.
UFC 254 Khabib vs. Gaethje Betting Predictions
Justin Gaethje represents a danger for Khabib Nurmagomedov for two reasons. Number one, Gaethje is a freak who loves to attack and fight on his terms.
He even mentioned he wants to put doubt on Khabib’s mind. When they asked him how he planned to do that, he responded: “with violence.”
Number two, his wrestling background is uncanny. He’s not a fighter who learned how to wrestle in the process. He’s a wrestler who tweaked his style over the years and found unexpected success, punching and kicking people all over the place.
Gaethje’s Biggest Problem
But he’s a pure wrestler, and that’s what makes this matchup so interesting.
Now, Gaethje’s biggest problem is the guy in front of him is an unsolved puzzle. Nobody has come close to beating Khabib Nurmagomedov. When the takedowns come, his sambo style, savviness, and strength put opponents in a stage of shock.
You can prepare all you want for this, but the Russian is an incredible fighter that cannot be replicated.
Khabib can land punches too. His corner prefers he doesn’t get involved in a brawl, but the ability is there. Against McGregor, his coach Javier Mendez insisted he shouldn’t trade punches with the Irishman. In the end, Khabib listened and won easily.
This is the fight of the year. It should be fantastic.
Our Khabib vs. Gaethje Picks For UFC 254
Top Online Sportsbooks To Bet On UFC 254 Khabib vs. Gaethje
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