UFC 254 is approaching fast and is packed full of excellent matchups you do not want to miss. The main event is headlined by a lightweight showdown that will be between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
This bout is one of the most highly anticipated matchups that fans have wanted to see for some time. This is definitely one to check out, especially since Khabib is the champ, and Gaethje enters as the current interim champ.
The bout will be a part of the card on Saturday from the Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island. Let’s take a look at it, including the UFC betting odds for the bout.
Main Event Breakdown
Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (28-0-0) is coming into this fight still undefeated, and it will make major UFC news if he takes a loss. His resume shows that he has eight wins by knockout, 10 by submission, and 10 by decision.
For someone who does not strike with authority all the time, he has a very solid striking accuracy at 49 percent and has a grappling accuracy at 47 percent. He delivers 4.11 significant strikes a minute while taking on 1.65. Again, for someone who is a monster on the ground, he still has an excellent ratio here.
Khabib defends against takedowns at 84 percent and defends against significant strikes at 67 percent. He also has been able to average a massive 5.35 takedowns and 0.70 submissions every 15 minutes.
Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (22-2-0) is one heck of a power striker and is currently ranked as the number one fighter right behind Khabib in the lightweight division. When looking at his fighting resume, it shows that he has 19 wins by knockout, one by submission, and two by decision.
He lays it all out on the line when he strikes, with an accuracy at 59 percent. But he has nothing to show for a grappling accuracy. He delivers 7.74 significant strikes a minute and takes on 8.37. This ratio is somewhat misleading, however. He had one rough loss where he was greatly outstriked, but he should still look to defend better.
Gaethje defends against takedowns at 80 percent and defends against significant strikes at 54 percent. His takedowns and submission averages are moot, really. He primarily stays on his feet and strikes.
Odds For This Event
BetUS has the UFC betting odds for the main event currently placed at:
- Nurmagomedov -350
- Gaethje +250
* odds are subject to change
Potential Winning Pick
Both of these fighters are extremely skilled in their own right to be at the top of the lightweight division. You take Khabib, who is arguably a top pound-for-pound fighter. With Gaethje, you get a powerful striker who could land a one of a kind strike and knock Khabib out.
If Gaethje can stay aggressive and keep the fight standing, then he will be able to potentially land that one-of-a-kind knockout on Khabib. However, Khabib has been here before in his career, fighting against elite-level strikers and still coming away with a victory.
Khabib will most certainly use the ground to his advantage. As always, he is aggressive on his takedown attempts and has a strong grip that only lets up when the fight is over.
If this fight makes it to a decision, you can see Khabib taking it. He has the stamina and is able to absorb hits that have provided him an undefeated resume so far. This fight will most likely result in Khabib winning in some form of a submission in a later round.
Khabib wins via submission.