UFC 254’s official bout order has been announced. The UFC confirmed that the card would feature 6 fights on the main card and a grand total of 13 fights barring any changes.
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The main event of the card is the same that has been planned for months now. The lightweight title will be unified in Abu Dhabi, as the champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) faces off against the interim champion Justin Gaethje (22-2).
Nurmagomedov has been out of action for a while. His last fight was in Abu Dhabi back at UFC 242 against Dustin Poirier. Nurmagomedov defended his belt with ease, submitting Poirier in the second round after a dominating grappling display. But the recent passing of his father Abdulmanap pushed back the date of his meeting against Gaethje. Nevertheless, Nurmagomedov looks to improve to 29-0 and strengthen his legacy as the greatest lightweight of all time.
Justin Gaethje on the other hand has been pretty active. The American is riding a four fights winning streak including his latest dazzling performance against Tony Ferguson. Ferguson had no answer to Gaethje and he was stopped by the referee in the final round. Many believe that Gaethje’s wrestling background and improved striking make him the toughest test for Khabib at 155lbs.
Many other exciting fights have been announced on this card but none catches the eye like the middleweight showdown in the co-main event between Robert Whittaker (21-5) and Jared Cannonier (13-4).
After losing his belt to Israel Adesanya and taking some time away from the octagon, Whittaker came back to the win column by beating Darren Till earlier this year. The Aussie accepted to fight Cannonier immediately after his fight.
Cannonier has been on a great run after dropping down to middleweight. His latest KO victory over top contender Jack Hermansson puts him in prime position to get a title shot. Israel Adesanya even called out Cannonier, saying that he would be willing to fight him if he beats Robert Whittaker.
Barring any changes, here is the order of the card:
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje
Robert Whittaker vs Jared Cannonier
Alexander Volkov vs Walt Harris
Islam Makachev vs Raphael Dos Anjos
Cynthia Calvillo vs Lauren Murphy
Magomed Ankalaev vs Ion Cutelaba
Stefan Struve vs Tai Tuivasa
Jacob Malkoum vs Phillip Hawes
Umar Nurmagomedov vs Sergey Morozov
UFC 254 will take place on October 24 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi at the Flash Forum and will start at 10:15 am ET for the prelim and 14:00 am ET for the main card. It is set up to be one of the biggest cards of the year.