UFC 254: Khabib Favored To Unify Lightweight Title

UFC 254: Khabib Favored To Unify Lightweight Title

The UFC 254 card will be headlined by a world Lightweight Championship unification bout between current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champion Justin Gaethje. The entire fight card will take place on October 24, 2020, at Abu Dhabi’s Flash Forum on Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates. The main event is slated to get underway at 10 pm ET. Nurmagomedov (28-0) is the heavy -285 odds-on favorite to win the bout. Let's have a look at the UFC 254 betting picks.

Here's a look at the latest UFC 254 odds, courtesy of Bovada:

Favorite bovada mybookie bovada Underdog

Khabib Nurmagomedov

-285 OFF (Draw) -+225

Justin Gaethje

Robert Whittaker

OFF OFF(Draw) OFF

Jared Cannonier

Alexander Volkov

OFF OFF (Draw) OFF

Walt Harris

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  • The UFC world lightweight title will be unified at UFC 254 and champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is extremely confident that he'll be the one wearing the belt when all is said and done. Citing what he believes to be a higher fighting IQ than his opponent, interim UFC lightweight champ Justin Gaethje, Nurmagomedov is confidently predicting a short night's work. Nurmagomedov is boasting that he will finish off his opponent by Round 3, or Round 4 at the latest of their five-round bout.

    The oddsmakers appear to agree with that assessment. Not only is Nurmagomedov the heavy -285 odds-on favorite at Bovada to defeat Gaethje, and the online sports betting site BetOnline is also offering -160 favorite's odds that the bout will finish in under 4.5 rounds.

    Under 4.5 Rounds
    -160
    BetOnline

    Bettors can access a +235 underdog betting line on Gaethje. They'll get +130 odds that the fight will extend beyond 4.5 rounds.

    • The UFC 254 main event pits world champ Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight unification bout against interim champ Justin Gaethje
    • Favored Nurmagomedov (-285) is 28-0 in his MMA career
    • Gaethje is a +225 underdog. He's 22-2 as an MMA fighter

    The other main card bouts feature former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker against Jared Cannonier. Whittaker, known in MMA circles as Bobby Knuckles, comes into this bout off a win over middleweight contender Darren Till.

    Alexander Volkov, the No. 6 UFC contender in the heavyweight division, looks to rebound against veteran Walt Harris. Volkov has lost two of his last three bouts.

    UFC 254 Full Card

    • Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) vs Justin Gaethje (22-2)
    • Robert Whittaker (22-5) vs Jared Cannonier (13-4)
    • Alexander Volkov (31-8) vs Walt Harris (13-8-1)
    • Islam Makhachev (18-1) vs Rafael dos Anjos (29-13)
    • Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1) vs Lauren Murphy (13-4)
    • Magomed Ankalaev (13-1) vs Ion Cujtelaba (15-5)
    • Stefan Struve (29-12) vs Tai Tuivasa (9-3)
    • Jacob Malkoun (4-0) vs Phil Hawes (8-2)
    • Umar Nurmagomedov (12-0) vs Sergey Morozov (16-3)

    The entire fight card will take place on October 24, 2020 at Abu Dhabi’s Flash Forum on Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates. The main event is slated to get underway at 10 pm ET.

    UFC moved all of its bouts for the foreseeable future to its so-called Fight Island. The idea is that the controlled environment will contain the spread of COVID-19. However, as a precaution, last month UFC signed former three-time Bellator lightweight world champ Michael Chandler to serve as an alternate if either Nurmgomedov or Gaethje are forced to pull out of the bout.

    Khabib Returns From Long Layoff

    The Nurmagomedov-Gaethje bout was originally slated to headline the UFC 253 card but did not materialize in time to fit into that schedule.

    Nurmagomedov hasn't stepped into the octagon in over a year. His last fight was a world lightweight title bout on Sept. 7, 2019, when he submitted Dustin Poirier with a rear-naked chokehold in the third round.

    In May, Nurmagomedov's father Abdulmanap, who was also his trainer, was placed in a medically-induced coma. He contracted COVID-19 after undergoing heart surgery. The elder Nurmagomedov died July 3 in a Moscow hospital.

    Could the long layoff, combined with the tragic loss of his father, who was also his conditioner and closest confidant, negatively impact Khabib as he returns to action? Is this a factor that you should be weighing as you assess the UFC 254 Vegas odds on this bout?

    Gaethje Is No Slouch

    There are plenty of UFC fans, pundits, and undoubtedly even oddsmakers when they established the UFC 254 fight odds who wonder whether Khabib is unbeatable. Throughout his UFC career, he's only ever lost one round on a judge's scorecard.

    However, it would be unwise for anyone to take Gaethje lightly. Save for a two-fight losing streak in 2017-18, Gaethje has mowed down his opposition. The American, a former NCAA wrestling champion, has scored knockouts in 19 of his 22 victories. He's been able to physically beat down opponents via his punching power.

    Facing the master of wrestling that Nurmagomedov is, Gaethje will need to remain on his feet to have a chance in this fight. He can't allow himself to be cornered along the cage. If Khabib gets Gaethje to the ground, this one could be over quickly.

    Nurmagomedov owns 57 takedowns in his career, including a UFC single bout-record 21 takedowns against Abel Trujillo. Barring some unforeseen development, it's difficult to see any other outcome in the UFC 254 odds than a Nurmagomedov victory.

    Play Khabib to win in the moneyline and also take the under on the 4.5 rounds total.

    Where To Bet on UFC 254?

    There are a number of leading online sports betting sites that will provide bettors the chance to place a wager on the UFC 254 betting odds for the Sept. 26 bouts. The best bet you can make is to shop around in advance and seek out the best deal before joining one of these sportsbooks. Check out BetUS and MyBookie as examples.

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  • The signup bonus offers that are in place at all of these recommended sites will prove advantageous to the bettor. And since you'll get a good deal wherever you go, why not shop around and find the best fit for your needs?

    Do you want a risk-free first bet as a signup bonus? Perhaps you find a no-deposit bonus to be enticing. Or maybe you simply like the feel of cold, hard cash in your account and you want to go for a matching first deposit bonus. Whatever option you choose, you're already a winner.

    See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: