This Saturday night at Yas Island’s Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi comes UFC 254 with the long-anticipated main event featuring lightweight champion, Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) going head-to-head against the interim lightweight champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje. The winner unifies the championship. Since winning the vacant title against Al Iaquinta back in April 2018, Nurmagomedov has submitted Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier by rear-naked choke and neck crank respectively.
By the way, McGregor and Poirier will reportedly face each other as well at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on January 23, 2021. Back to the Khabib-Gaethje fight, this may be more of a traditional striker vs. grappler matchup as “The Highlight” may need to use his stand-up fighting ability, which was well showcased while knocking out Tony Ferguson. That striking not only won him the title but ‘Fight of the Night’ and ‘Performance of the Night’ back in May earlier this year.
With Nurmagomedov losing only one round in all of his fights, he is as formidable to defeat as ever. But Gaethje, who began wrestling at the age of four, is no slouch when it comes to grappling. He became a standout at Safford High School before heading to the University of Northern Colorado, where he became an All-American.
As for the champion, the pressure is on as he looks to make it 29 consecutive wins in his MMA career and thirteen inside the Octagon. UFC 254 will air on Pay-Per-View with preliminary matchups beginning at 2 PM ET on ESPN 2 live from the Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.