Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje Announced for October 24

Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC
Khabib Nurmagomedov Credit: Dave Mandel/

UFC President Dana White has announced that the lightweight unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje is official for October 24.

UFC President Dana White announced on Tuesday morning in an interview with CNN that the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje is official for October 24, at what is expected to be UFC 254.  No location for the bout was given but it is expected that both the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and Fight Island in Abu Dhabi will be options.

Undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov has recently been dealing with the passing of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in recent weeks, with the UFC President stating that he has been leaving his undefeated lightweight champion alone as he deals with his loss.  “The Eagle” has become one of the top global stars in mixed martial arts today and is considered one of the best fighters pound-for-pound behind victories over Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza, and Rafael dos Anjos.  The fight against Gaethje will be his first in over a year after fighting Poirier last September.

Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje has been one of the most exciting fighters in the sport since before he entered the UFC in 2017, but his popularity skyrocketed after entering the Octagon and delivering two Fight of the Year candidates in his first year with the company.  After dropping two straight fights, Gaethje drastically changed his style and turned in consecutive first round knockouts over Barboza, James Vick, and Donald Cerrone.  In May after Nurmagomedov could no longer keep his date with Tony Ferguson due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gaethje stepped in and delivered his best career performance with a fairly one-sided beating of “El Cucuy” to claim the interim lightweight championship.

Currently, no other fights aside from Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje have been announced for the October 24 card.