UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje takes place Saturday, October 24th from the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The main card will be available exclusively on PPV through the ESPN+ streaming service.
Main Card (Live on ESPN+ PPV, 2:00 PM EST)
-Khabib Nurmagomedov (c) defeated Justin Gaethje (ic) by Technical Submission (Triangle choke, Round 2, 1:34)
-Robert Whittaker defeats Jared Cannonier by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
-Alexander Volkov defeated Walt Harris by TKO (Liver Kick, Round 2, 1:15)
-Phil Hawes defeated Jacob Malkoun by KO (Punches, Round 1, 0:18)
-Lauren Murphy defeated Liliya Shakirova by Submission (Rear Naked choke, Round 2, 3:31)
-Magomed Ankalaev defeated Ion Cutelaba by KO (Punches, Round 1, 4:19)
Preliminary Card (Live on ESPN, 12:30 PM EST)
-Tai Tuivasa defeated Stefan Struve ny KO (Strikes, Round 1, 4:59)
-Casey Kenney defeated Nathaniel Wood by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
-Shavkat Rakhmonov defeated Alex Oliveira by Submission (guillotine choke, Round 1, 4:40)
-Da Un Jung vs. Sam Alvey ended in a Split Draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)
Preliminary Card (Live on ESPN+, 11:00 AM EST)
-Miranda Maverick defeated Liana Jojua by TKO (Doctor’s Stoppage, Round 1, 5:00)
-Joel Alvarez defeated Alexander Yakovlev by Submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:00
The plan is to proceed with local timing for prime time hours. The main card is scheduled to begin at 10:00 pm (October 24) local time in Abu Dhabi, with a full preliminary card beginning at approximately 6:15 pm Gulf Standard Time.
A UFC Lightweight Championship unification bout between current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champion Justin Gaethje (also former WSOF Lightweight Champion) has been tabbed to serve as the event headliner. The bout was briefly linked to UFC 253, but the date did not materialize and will instead take place five weeks later. On September 17, the UFC announced the signing of former three-time Bellator Lightweight World Champion Michael Chandler, who is expected to serve as backup and potential replacement for this fight.
A middleweight bout between former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier was initially scheduled to take place in March at UFC 248, but Whittaker pulled out due to personal reasons. The pairing has now been rescheduled for this event.
Despite never being officially announced, a featherweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America featherweight winner Yair Rodríguez and Zabit Magomedsharipov was expected to take place at this event. The pairing has been scheduled on two previous occasions, first at UFC 228 in September 2018 and then at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakić in August of this year. However, Rodríguez pulled out of both events with injury.