A lightweight unification showdown headlines the next pay-per-view card on Fight Island
‘s nearly time to brawl on Fight Island as UFC closes out its second stint in Abu Dhabi with arguably its best matchup to date. Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will look to unify for a second time when he faces interim champ Justin Gaethje in the main event on Saturday, Oct. 24 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV). Nurmagomedov unified last summer when he submitted Dustin Poirier via rear-naked choke in a fight that also took place in Abu Dhabi.
The champ was scheduled to face Tony Ferguson — a sixth time attempting to get the two in the Octagon together — in May, but travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic made it impossible for Nurmagomedov to make it to the event. In stepped Gaethje, who held out for his shot at a title fight and delivered in kind with a tremendous performance against Ferguson to claim the interim strap.
Gaethje enters the showdown with four straight TKOs, including three in the first round over James Vick, Edson Barboza and Donald Cerrone. “The Highlight” has yet to see the judges’ scorecards since joining UFC back in 2017 and the last decision of his career came in 2014 against Melvin Guillard under the WSOF banner.
This card also marks the return of some of UFC’s rising contenders. Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is set to take on veteran Jared Cannonier in a title eliminator at 185 pounds. Plus, veteran heavyweights look to make a name of themselves in a featured bout when Alexander Volkov faces Walt Harris. And the rematch that’s taken nearly all year to complete kicks off the main card when Magomed Ankalaev faces Ion Cutelaba.
It’s going to be a busy week on Fight Island before UFC heads back to Las Vegas to close out 2020. CBS Sports will have you covered with the latest news, odds and viewing information for UFC 254 in this post as it will be constantly updated throughout the week. Odds below are provided by William Hill Sportsbook.
UFC 254 fight card, odds
- Khabib Nurmagomedov (c) -310 vs. Justin Gaethje (ic) +250, lightweight title
- Jared Cannonier -115 vs. Robert Whittaker -105, middleweights
- Alexander Volkov -180 vs. Walt Harris +155, heavyweights
- Phillip Hawes -260 vs. Jacob Malkoun +210, middleweights
- Lauren Murphy -210 vs. Liliya Shakirova +175, women’s flyweights
- Magomed Ankalaev -330 vs. Ion Cutelaba +260, light heavyweights
- Tai Tuivasa -125 vs. Stefan Struve +105, heavyweights
- Shavkat Rakhmonov -135 vs. Alex Oliveira +115, welterweights
- Da-Un Jung -360 vs. Sam Alvey +280, light heavyweights
- Casey Kenney -170 vs. Nathaniel Wood +145, catchweights
- Miranda Maverick -400 vs. Liana Jojua +310, women’s flyweights
- Joel Alvarez -170 vs. Alexander Yakovlev +145, lightweights
UFC 254 info
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 24
- Location: Flash Forum — Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
- Start time: 2 p.m. ET (Main card) | noon ET (prelims)
- How to watch: ESPN+ PPV (main card) | ESPN 2 (prelims)
- Live stream: Free Live