- Saturday afternoon Main Card begins at 2 p.m. ET
- Prelims on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+ at Noon ET, Early Prelims start at 11:00 a.m. ET
- Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker faces Jared Cannonier
- To subscribe or purchase PPV, visit espn.com/ufc
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UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje streams exclusively on ESPN+ PPV this Saturday, October 24 at a special 2 p.m. ET start time from UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The top of the fight card features one of the most anticipated fights of the year ‒ two lightweight champions facing off in the main event to determine the undisputed king of one of UFC’s most competitive weight divisions.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion, enters the Octagon with a perfect, undefeated record (28-0-0) and is coming off two dominating defenses of his title – most recently in a third-round submission of Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in September 2019. Justin Gaethje (22-2-0) has won four fights in a row, including three first-round finishes, capped by a fifth-round TKO of then-No. 1 contender Tony Ferguson in May – a victory that earned Gaethje the interim UFC lightweight title.
Nurmagomedov will be looking to take the fight to the ground where his unrelenting wrestling and ground-and-pound has been the end of many of the best fighters in the world. Gaethje will be looking to keep the fight on its feet and in the middle of the Octagon, where his knockout power and striking speed may give him the edge.
The co-main event pits former UFC middleweight champion and No. 1-ranked contender Robert Whittaker (22-5-0) against No. 3-ranked contender Jared Cannonier (13-4-0). The winner is likely to have a future date with UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who has already said he wants Cannonier if he can win this bout. Whittaker lost his belt to Adesanya a year ago, only to bounce back with a win over Darren Till in July and is looking to be in position for a chance to reclaim the title. Cannonier last fought over a year ago in September 2019, when he knocked out Jack Hermansson for his third straight early TKO.
Elsewhere on the main card, two top-10 heavyweights match up as No. 6-ranked Alexander Volkov (31-8-0) and No. 8-ranked Walt Harris (13-8-0) both try to move up the rankings in hopes of title contention. Plus, a light heavyweight rematch between Magomed Ankalaev (13-1-0) and Ion Cutelaba (15-5-0) will see the two fighters run it back after a controversial first-round stoppage in February, which Cutelaba appealed.
Saturday’s coverage begins with the early prelims beginning on ESPN+ at 11 a.m. The prelims begin at Noon across ESPN2, ESPN Deportes (Spanish), and ESPN+ (English and Spanish).
On Friday, UFC Live will air on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m., providing fans with exclusive insights and views on the biggest stories heading into UFC 254.
UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje content on ESPN+:
- Unlocking Victory: UFC 254 — Dominick Cruz and Gilbert Melendez break down the keys to victory for the fighters competing at UFC 254
- UFC 254 Embedded – Go inside the lives of the fighters in the build-up to UFC 254 – Eps. 1 , Eps 2
- UFC Fight Island Declassified: Four-part docuseries chronicles the story behind the scenes of the creation of “UFC Fight Island” on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
- “Father’s Plan” – Brett Okamoto examines how Khabib honors his dad’s memory
- “Something I’ve never felt before” — What’s it like to fight Khabib? Hear from some of those that have done it.
- UFC 254 Main Event Breakdown
- Brett Okamoto goes inside Justin Gaethje’s journey from a mining town to MMA stardom
- Marc Raimondi examines the story behind the hat that helped shape Khabib’s identity
- UFC 254: Why confusion over takedowns might affect Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje
ESPN’s UFC 254 Pick’Em – play for FREE and compete for a chance to win $5,000
UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Programming (All times ET)
|Fri., 10/23||12:55 a.m.||UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Weigh-In||ESPN+|
|10:30 a.m.||UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Pre-Show||ESPN+|
|5:30 p.m.||UFC Live 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje||ESPN2|
|Sat., 10/24||11 a.m.||UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje (Early Prelims)||ESPN+|
|Noon||UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje (Prelims)||ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes|
|1 p.m.||UFC 254: Ariel & The Bad Guy Social Show||ESPN App, YouTube, Twitter|
|2 p.m.||UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje (Main Card)||ESPN+ PPV (English and Spanish)|
|5:30 p.m.||UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Post Show||ESPN+|
Main Card, Prelims and Early Prelims (All times ET)
|2:00 p.m.||Main||Khabib Nurmagomedov (C) vs. Justin Gaethje (IC)||UFC Lightweight Championship|
|Co-Main||Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier|
|Undercard||Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris|
|Undercard||Jacob Malkoun vs. Phil Hawes|
|Undercard||Lauren Murphy vs. Liliya Shakirova|
|Undercard||Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba|
|12:00 p.m.||Feature||Stefan Struve vs. Tai Tuivasa|
|Undercard||Nathaniel Wood vs. Casey Kenney|
|Undercard||Alex Oliveira vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov|
|Undercard||Da-Un Jung vs. Sam Alvey|
|11 a.m.||Undercard||Liana Jojua vs. Miranda Maverick|
|Undercard||Joel Alvarez vs. Alexander Yakovlev|
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