UFC 254 breakdown: Is Justin Gaethje truly ready for Khabib’s wrestling onslaught?

MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main event for UFC 254.

UFC 254 takes place Saturday at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN2/ESPN+ and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 32 Weight: 155 lbs. Reach: 70″
  • Last fight: Submission win over Dustin Poirier(Sep. 7, 2019)
  • Camp: American Kickboxing Academy (San Jose, Calif.)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:

+ UFC lightweight champion
+ 2x world sambo champion
+ 2x Russian combat sambo champion
+ M-1 Selection champion
+ 8 KO victories
+ 10 submission wins
+ 10 first-round finishes
+ Aggressive pace and pressure
+ Improved striking game
^ Active jab and underrated kicks
+ Strong inside the clinch
^ Superb underhook awareness
+ Diverse takedown acumen
^ Chains attempts well from fence
+ Excellent transitional grappler
^ Relentless rides and advancements

Justin Gaethje (22-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 31 Weight: 155 lbs. Reach: 70″
  • Last fight: TKO win over Tony Ferguson(May 9, 2020)
  • Camp: Elevation Fight Team (Denver, Co.)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:

+ Interim UFC lightweight champion
+ WSOF lightweight title
+ NCAA Division 1 All-American wrestler
+ 19 KO victories
+ 1 submission win
+ 9 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Aggressive pace and pressure
+ Improved striking acumen
^ Shifting combos and counters
+ Accurate left hook
+ Hard leg kicks
+ Strong inside the clinch
^ Heavy hips and good dirty boxing
+ Strikes well off the break
+ Excellent wrestling and scrambling ability

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