Khabib Nurmagomedov boasts an absurd professional MMA record of 28-0. The Russian has proved to be an unstoppable force since stepping foot inside the Octagon.
At 12-0 inside the cage, he’ll enter on Sunday morning against Justin Gaethje and look to extend his unbeaten record.
Watch Khabib vs Gaethje at UFC 254 Live on Main Event on Foxtel, Sunday 25 October at 5am AEDT. ORDER NOW >
Interim champ Gaethje however has shown time and again why he is the most damaging man in the UFC, and will have history behind him.
Of the previous 10 UFC title unification fights, the interim champion has taken down the champion in six of them.
The most recent interim champion to walk out of the cage with the belt around their waist was Israel Adesanya when he toppled Robert Whittaker in 2019.
The last champ to retain their belt in a unification fight however was Nurmagomedov when he defeated Dustin Poirier in 2019.
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Fans have been eagerly awaiting Nurmagomedov’s return to the cage and his showdown against Gaethje has left the UFC world salivating.
Pundits have been split on how the highly-anticipating contest will unfold, but UFC bad boy Colby Covington was decivise in his prediction. Picking Nurmagomedov to get the job done, but still delivering a parting shot at the champ.
“Lot of the fake news MMA media out there saying Gaethje’s wrestling will be a key factor,” Covington said.
“I’m here to tell you that it’s not. Just because he’s wrestled in college doesn’t mean he’s any good. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
“While Khabib had to cut all that weight because he’s scared to fight real men, he still trains with bears and sheep and those bears and sheep are better, stronger and definitely smarter than old duck lip Gaethje.
“So if he can hold down a bear and a sheep, he can definitely hold down a beta soy boy.”
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of UFC 254.
WHAT TIME DOES UFC 254 START
The action kicks off with the early preliminary fights starting from 2am (AEDT), so it’s time to set the alarm and have the coffee pot ready to go. The preliminary fights get underway from 3am.
The main card kicks off from the more respectable time of 5am with six blockbuster fighters greeting UFC fans.
HOW CAN I WATCH UFC 254
You can watch UFC 254 main card on Main Event. If you’re a Fight Pass subscriber, you can also stream the entire card there.
Aussie fight fans wanting to catch the prelim action can do so by flicking on Kayo Sports.
Watch UFC action with ESPN on KAYO. Stream full Fight Night events live plus prelim fights for PPV events. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly
AUSSIES ON THE CARD
Robert Whittaker will step foot inside the cage for the second time in 2020 after defeating Darren Till at UFC Fight Night 174 in July.
After losing his middleweight belt to Israel Adesanya a little over a year ago, the bruising Aussie has vowed to reclaim his crown and can secure a shot at Adesanya by taking down scary American Jared Cannonier.
Cannonier, known as “The Killa Gorilla”, enters as the slight favourite having won his last four fights via KO/TKO.
But Whittaker is ready to show he’s still worthy of a shot at the title and end Cannonier’s unbeaten 3-0 middleweight record.
Tai Tuivasa will return to the Octagon for the first time in over a year and will be out to snap a three-fight losing streak.
Going up against Stefan Struve, Tuivasa will be at a monstrous height disadvantage but that isn’t fazing the Aussie brawler.
“He’s tall, he’s big. However, the bigger they are, the harder they fall,” Tuivasa told news.com.au.
“I’ll try to bring him down to my level and go from there.”
UFC 254 CARD
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje — lightweight title
Robert Whittaker (1) vs. Jared Cannonier (2) — middleweight
Alexander Volkov (7) vs. Walt Harris (10) — heavyweight
Jacob Malkoun vs. Phillip Hawes — middleweight
Lauren Murphy (5) vs. Liliya Shakirova — women’s flyweight
Stefan Struve vs. Tai Tuivasa — heavyweight
Nathaniel Woods vs. Casey Kenney — catchweight
Alex Oliveira vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov — welterweight
Da-un Jung vs. Sam Alvey — light heavyweight
Liana Jojua vs. Miranda Maverick — women’s flyweight
Joel Alvarez vs. Alexander Yakovlev — lightweight
Originally published as History sits behind UFC interim champ