UFC 254: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje — Start time, how to watch and full fight card

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This is Khabib Nurmagomedov’s first fight since the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

Mikhail MetzelTASS via Getty Images

UFC 254 takes place this Saturday and features 2020’s biggest fight of the year: a lightweight unification contest between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. 

It might also be the most compelling match-up of 2020 from a styles standpoint.

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In one corner is Nurmagomedov: The most dominant champion in UFC history. With a record of 28-0, he’s only lost one round in his entire MMA career — against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 — and has dominated almost every other second he’s been in the octagon.

In the other corner, possibly his nightmare match-up. Justin Gaethje is not just a technical brawler with concrete slabs for hands (and maybe the best leg kicks in MMA) he’s also a world class wrestler. The consensus is Gaethje has a better chance than anyone to keep this fight on the feet and out of Nurmagomedov’s comfort zone — taking people down against the cage and absolutely wrecking people with ground and pound until they’re sapped of all life and energy. If you want further insight into this match-up, you can’t do better than Inside The Octagon with Dan Hardy. Great show, great insight.

If you want a little more information on the fight and the backstory leading up to the contest, I recommend UFC Countdown. 

UFC 254’s undercard is pretty light, with the exception of one fight: A middleweight contest between former champ Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier. That one will be an absolute banger so don’t miss it. Whittaker is one of the best UFC middleweights ever and Cannonier has been a wrecking ball in the last couple of years. The winner will most likely face off against current champ Israel Adesanya, so tune in.

How to watch UFC 254

This year the UFC entered a new partnership with ESPN. That’s great news for the UFC and the expansion of the sport of MMA, but bad news for consumer choice. Especially if you’re one of the UFC fans who want to watch UFC live in the US.

In the US, if you want to know how to watch UFC 254, you’ll only find the fight night on PPV through ESPN Plus. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but here are the options to watch UFC on ESPN, according to ESPN’s site.

Existing yearly ESPN Plus subscribers can order the upcoming UFC fight for $65. Existing monthly ESPN Plus subscribers will be able to either upgrade to an annual plan and buy UFC PPV for $85 or purchase the ability to watch the UFC event on PPV for $65 by itself.New ESPN Plus subscribers can buy a bundle of one UFC PPV event (streaming in HD) and an ESPN Plus annual recurring subscription for $85. The ESPN Plus annual ESPN subscription will auto-renew after one year, at the price of an ESPN Plus annual subscription at the time of auto-renewal.

You can do all of the above at the link below.

MMA fans in the UK can watch UFC 254 exclusively through BT Sport. There are more options if you live in Australia. You can watch UFC 254 through Main Event on Foxtel. You can also watch on the UFC website or using its app. You can even order using your PlayStation 4 or using the UFC app on your Xbox One.

Start time

This is a weird one. Normally UFC events have the same start times, this time round it’s absolutely topsy turvy so pay close attention to the times below. For those in other regions, the UFC has a great list of start times.

USThe main card starts Oct. 24, 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT).The prelims start Oct. 24, 12 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT).The early prelims start Oct. 24, 10.15 a.m. ET (7.15 a.m. PT).UKThe main card starts Oct. 24, 7 p.m. BST.The prelims start Oct. 24, 5 p.m. BST.The early prelims start Oct 24, 3.15 BST.AustraliaThe main card starts Oct. 25, 5 a.m. AEDT.The prelims start Oct. 25, 3 a.m. AEDT.The early prelims start Oct. 25, 1.15 a.m. AEDT.Fight Card

This card is subject to change. One fight scheduled for the early prelims, Umar Nurmagomedov vs. Sergey Morozov, has been cancelled after Umar Nurmagomedov contracted a nasty staph infection. Expect the card to shuffle around a little to accomodate. We’ll update when we have more concrete details.

Main CardKhabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje, Robert Whittaker vs. Jared CannonierAlexander Volkov vs. Walt HarrisJacob Malhoun vs. Phil HawesCynthia Calvillo vs. Lauren MurphyMagomed Ankalaev vs. Ion CutelabaPrelimsStefan Struve vs. Tai Tuivasa Jacob Malkoun vs. Phillip Hawes Alex Oliveira vs. Shavkat Rahkmonov Da-un Ung vs. Sam Alvey Nathaniel Wood vs. Casey Kenney Early Prelims Liana Jojua vs. Miranda Maverick Joel Alvarez vs. Alexander Yakovlev



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