Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje UK start time at UFC 254

Khabib Nurmagomedov puts his lightweight title on the line tonight as he takes on Justin Gaethje on Fight Island.

The Russian as amassed a record of 28-0 as a professional mixed martial artist and can take another step towards becoming the greatest of all time by beating Gaetje.

The American stunned Tony Ferguson earlier this year to set up his shot at Nurmagomedov and now aims to take full advantage of his unexpected opportunity.

The main event tops a stacked UFC 254 main card in the Middle East with Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier clashing in the co-main event to establish the next challenger for middleweight ruler Israel Adesanya.

Here is everything you need to know about tonight’s fights in Abu Dhabi…

What time do the fights start?

The early prelim fights will start at 4pm UK time before the prelim fights kick off an hour later, at 5pm.

The six-fight main card begins at 7pm with the main event starting at around 10pm.

This is great news for British fight fans as recent Fight Island cards have taken place in the early hours of the morning.

Khabib Nurmagomedov was a relieved man as he weighed in

What TV channel are they on?

The early prelim fights are only available on UFC Fight Pass which requires a subscription. Click here to sign up.

The prelim fights will be shown on BT Sport 2 from 5pm until 7pm before the action switches over to BT Sport Box Office for the main card.

Costing £19.95, you can order it by visiting the BT Sport Box office website here.

Is there a live stream?

The prelim fights can be streamed using the BT Sport player – if you are a BT Sport customer.

The main card – including Khabib vs Gaethje – can only be streamed via BT Sport Box Office in the UK.

You can purchase the fight using the link above and then watch on your computer or mobile device.

Khabib and Gaethje face off after weighing in

Full UFC 254 card

Main card

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje

Robert Whittaker vs Jared Cannonier

Alexander Volkov vs Walt Harris

Jacob Malkoun vs Phil Hawes

Lauren Murphy vs Liliya Shakirova

Magomed Ankalaev vs Ion Cuțelaba

Preliminary card

Stefan Struve vs Tai Tuivasa

Nathaniel Wood vs Casey Kenney

Alex Oliveira vs Shavkat Rakhmonov

Da Un Jung vs Sam Alvey

Early preliminary card

Liana Jojua vs Miranda Maverick

Joel Alvarez vs Alexander Yakovlev


Unsurprisingly, Nurmagomedov is the favourite to prevail against Gaethje and retain his lightweight title.

Bookmakers bet365 have priced the champion at 2/7 while his challenger is 11/4. A draw is unlikely and has been priced up accordingly at 80/1.

Many fans believe Gaethje’s best route to victory is via an early stoppage and he can be backed at 11/1 to win in the first round or 16/1 to win in the second.

Nurmagomedov is also favoured to win in the early rounds and is 9/2 to do so in either of the opening two sessions.

Click here to place your bets.

What they’ve said

Khabib: “With me, it’s going to be completely different. 

“He has to worry about takedowns, he was to worry about boxing, he has to worry about kicking, he has to worry about grappling, he has to worry about MMA.

“This is not a striking game. He has to worry about conditioning, he has to worry about my pressure. 

“I’m going to give him so much. He has to be ready.”

Gaethje: “I have a really, really good belief that’s he’s gonna have a really hard time putting me on the fence.

“I know I’m going to see his blood. I want him to see his blood and I want to see his reaction.

“I don’t think he’s as crazy as me, that’s the thing. I think he is crazy and loves competition, but he isn’t quite as crazy as me.

“He also hasn’t seen his blood as many times, I’m sure. His style of fighting is not something where you are looking for blood or anything like that.

“I bet that doesn’t even cross his mind that he will see his own blood. That has never been a factor for him.”

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