UFC 254 features a 6 fight main card with plenty of the UFC’s top talent scheduled to be showcased. Here are the top three reasons why UFC 254 is must-see TV, just in case you’re on the fence about whether or not you should tune in.
3. Top 10 Heavyweight Scrap
It’s almost always a good time when UFC heavyweight’s step into the Octagon and 4-ounce leather gloves start flying. This can be expected when #6 ranked Alexander Volkov takes on the #8 ranked Walt Harris at UFC 254.
Volkov, (31-8) enters the contest looking to regain footing in the division after his unanimous decision loss at the hands of Curtis Blaydes in June of this year. Despite the slipup, Volkov remains one of the most dangerous heavyweights on the planet. Backed by his 65% KO finish rate, it appears an opponent willing to stand and trade would suit Volkov extremely well.
That opponent comes in the daunting form of ‘The Big Ticket’ Walt Harris. Now while Volkov’s 65% finish rate is quite impressive, nothing beats the 100% KO finish rate that Harris owns at this time. 13 victories all by way of knockout have made Harris, (13-8) a precious commodity for the UFC. Harris also finds himself trying to bounce back after his KO defeat at the hands of the legendary Alistair Overeem at UFC Jacksonville in May of this year.
Needless to say, use the restroom, have your drink of choice and snack on hand before these two make the walk. Because if reputations are upheld in this one, somebody is getting knocked out.
2. Middleweight Mayhem
In the Co-Main Event of UFC 254, former middleweight champion, now #1 contender, Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whitaker (22-5) takes on #3 ranked middleweight Jared ‘The Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier (13-4). Whitaker makes the walk coming off of his UD victory over DarrenTill in July. Whitaker looked sharp throughout and resolidified himself as a force to be reckoned with in one of the UFC’s most stacked divisions.
Cannonier comes in on a hot streak with three straight TKO victories, with his last coming in September 2019 against Jack Hermansson at UFC Copenhagen. The current middleweight king, Israel Adesanya, has dubbed Cannonier the #1 contender for his title if he can take care of business against Whitaker. Whether or not a win for Cannonier will actually lead to a date with Adesanya remains to be seen, however, having the interest of the champ says a lot about this opportunity in front of the MMA Lab product.
1. The War for Lightweight Supremacy
Headlining UFC 254 is the very highly anticipated lightweight title fight between lightweight champion Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov (28-0), and interim lightweight champion Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje (22-2).
It’s well documented that Khabib Nurmagomedov is considered one of the most dominant forces to ever grace the UFC Octagon. While continuing his undefeated professional record in MMA, including a 12-0 record under the UFC banner, Nurmagomedov has destroyed every competitor that has been put in front of him. Several world-class fighters have looked like amateurs in his presence and have offered little to no threat to his reign as champion.
The next man up to face the Russian juggernaut is one of the most violent and exciting fighters in all of combat sports, Justin Gaethje. In a business that is often considered ruthless, Gaethje stands out as being the most ruthless. His blood and guts performances have made him a must-see attraction for fight fans and have given people around the world reason to believe that Gaethje could in fact be the one in 28-1.
Gaethje enters UFC 254 on a 4 fight win streak, with his most dominant win coming at UFC 249 against Nurmagomedov’s former foe, Tony Ferguson. Ferguson, who has looked to challenge Khabib 5 times over the past few years, with none of the fights coming to fruition, was dismantled by Gaethje as ‘The Highlight’ put on a performance that quite frankly, not many saw coming. The win for Gaethje earned him the interim title and solidified his meeting with Khabib.
When the dust settles in Abu Dhabi will Khabib Nurmagomedov remain the undisputed king of the UFC’s lightweight division? Or will Justin Gaethje do what no man has ever done before and finally end Nurmagomedov’s relentless assault on his competition?
UFC 254 takes place on Saturday, October 24, 2020, live from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.