The Undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his title against number-one contender Justin Gaethje on October 24 as the main event of UFC 254. And as evident as Khabib’s presence and dominance in the octagon, the Russian opens as the betting favourite with –270. Whereas the interim champion Justin Gaethje opens as +230.
Khabib and Tony were the last set to headline UFC 249 in April. COVID-19 had other plans. The fight was once again taken away from us. As the UFC started to get back on schedule despite the pandemic, the undisputed champion was in lockdown in Russia and unable to travel for competition.
Khabib opens as betting favourite against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254
Khabib Nurmagomedov is a win machine. Undefeated as a professional fighter, he holds a record of 28 wins with zero defeats. Known predominantly for his wrestling and ground control, Khabib can beat you anywhere, as he has eight knockout victories, ten submission wins, and ten decision victories. He joined the UFC in 2012 and defeated notable opponents such as Rafael dos Anjos, Michael Johnson, and Edson Barboza on his way to championship gold.
He did win his title in rather lacklustre fashion as Al Iaquintahad to step in on one day’s notice to replace Max Holloway who was already replacing Tony Ferguson. Khabib would win a unanimous decision over Iaquinta, earning him the vacant undisputed lightweight championship.
Talking about his opponent, Justin Gaethje entered the UFC in 2017 as the undefeated 17-0 WSOF lightweight champion. He made his debut against lightweight contender Michael Johnson and stopped him via TKO in the second round. Gaethje would set the lightweight division ablaze with excitement. He started his run to the title with a first-round knockout win over James Vick. Next was another first-round KO, this time against Edson Barboza. This was followed by a first-round TKO of Donald Cerrone. Three fights in a row all finished in the first round. It was time for his first chance at UFC gold against one of the most dangerous fighters in the game, Tony Ferguson. Which Gaethje won handsomely to be eligible to face Nurmagomedov.