Andrew Wilson |  Tue 20/10/2020 - 07:24 EDT

UFC 254: Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje

UFC 254: Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje

The UFC returns to “Fight Island,” which is headlined by a clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje to unify the Lightweight Championship.

The UFC returns to Abu Dhabi on Saturday, October 24. The event is the straight second UFC pay-per-view event at the Flash Forum, following up a fun UFC 253 where Israel Adesanya defended his Middleweight Championship. While the biggest fight of the UFC 254 is between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje for the Lightweight Champion, the main card is full of quality fights and some decent wagering opportunities, once markets open for betting.  

Main Event – Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje

To Win the UFC Lightweight Championship sports-interaction sports-interaction To Win the UFC Lightweight Championship

Khabib Nurmagomeov

-255 +185 Justin Gaethje

The main event at UFC 254 sees Khabib Nurmagomedov put his Lightweight Championship and 28-0 record on the line against Justin Gaethje (who is 22-2 in his MMA career).

Its been over a year since we have seen Khabib in the Octagon. However, despite the lengthy layoff, online sportsbooks have Khabib as a heavy favourite.

Khabib’s fighting style is a nightmare for all opponents. He relentless mauls his opponents, forcing them into the cage and tying up their arms and legs. This approach exhausts his opponents and allows him to take opponents down and either pound them with strikes or get in position to win by submission.

Gaethje style of fighting – a pure striker who does not attempt takedowns – does not match up well against Khabib. Gaethje will struggle with Khabib’s constant grappling and defending strikes if Khabib takes the fight to the ground.  

We like Khabib to win the fight in the third or fourth round – around the time Gaethje’s stamina will run out – by either submission or TK/TKO.

Pick: Khabib Nurmagomedov (-275) to Win the Unify Lightweight ChampionshipAs we mentioned above – when the market opens – a Khabib to win the fight and method of victory combination to win is also worth considering. If you add in the round, you should find some good value – potentially around +250 to +350 odds. Of course, this depends on the book, how the public is betting, and what type of markets they open on the event.

Other Fights at UFC 254

At the time of publication, online sportsbooks have not published odds on the rest of the fights at UFC 254. Still, we can have a look at some of the fights and make some predictions – so once UFC odds are available, you will be ready to wager.

Co-Main Event – Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier

The next biggest fight at UFC 254 is between top-ranked Middleweight Robert Whittaker and Jarrod Cannonier. Robert Whittaker brings in a 22-5 career record – with only one of his five losses occurring in the last six and a half years. Jarrod Cannonier is 13-4 lifetime and has three straight wins in the Octagon.

Whittaker likely opens as the favourite. However, this fight has the makings for an upset.

Cannonier has shown impressive power in his last three fights, winning two in the second round and one in the first round. He has a longer reach and is a more accurate striker than Whittaker. We like Cannonier to offer good value when the odds are posted and worth betting to pull off an upset.  

Pick: Jared Cannonier to Win the Fight

Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris

Heavyweights Alexander Volkov and Walt Harris should excite fans and bettors when they square off. The sixth and eighth-ranked heavyweights. Both fighters are coming into the bout off a loss.

Alexander Volkov – the MMA veteran with a 31-8 career record – is better positioned to rebound in this fight. Harris is a powerful fight but does not move or strike with a tremendous amount of speed or accuracy.

Volkov should be able to withstand an early onslaught by Walt Harris – Harris has won his last two fights by KO/TKO in the first minute of the first round – and win the fight.

Pick: Alexander Volkov to Win the Fight

Islam Makhachev vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Two more lightweights are featured on the main card at UFC 254 with 11th ranked Islam Makhachev looking to win his seventh straight fight – and further climb the rankings. His opponent, Rafael dos Anjos – who is currently unranked – has little success in the last two-plus years, owning a record of 1-4 since June 2018.

Makhachev should open as a big favourite in this fight.

Makhachev is a smart and efficient fighter. He can mix up his approach to match opponents and is an excellent defender of takedowns. Overall, we like this matchup for Makhachev against dos Anjos – who has not looked overly impressive in his UFC career.

Pick: Alexander Makhachev to Win the Fight     

Where to Bet on UFC 254

If you are looking to bet on UFC 254, check out the online sportsbooks below. They offer a great mix of UFC odds on every UFC event. Sign up through the links below to receive an exclusive bonus, which you can use to wager on UFC 254.

Category : Sports Blog

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