Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje Booked For UFC 255 on October 24th
By Ross Markey
A UFC lightweight title unification bout between reigning champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmgamedov, and interim gold holder, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje is slated to take main event honours at UFC 255 on October 24th. – with ‘Fight Island’ and the UFC Apex facility the current frontrunners to host the pay-per-view event.
Khabib and Gaethje were tentatively scheduled to headline UFC 254 on September 19th. – until the tragic passing of Nurmagomedov’s father and longtime Sambo coach, Abdulmanap at the beginning of the month. A middleweight title matchup between, Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa will headline the card instead.
The October meeting will mark Khabib’s first since the passing of his father, and first outing since his successful unification bout with then-interim best, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier, at UFC 242 last September. Arizona native, Gaethje replaced his Dominance MMA stablemate, Khabib at UFC 249 in May – scoring the interim spoils with a demolition of top-contender, Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson. UFC president, Dana White announced the pairing on CNN.
Undefeated at 28-0, grappling standout Khabib has been so far unmatched in his twelve fight Octagon tenure. The Dagestan sambo specialist has laid claim to the lightweight throne since UFC 223 back in April of 2018, where he notched the vacant crown in a comfortable win over ‘Ragin’ Al Iaquinta.
Since winning the title, Khabib has successfully defended against arch-rival, and former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, scoring submission wins over the Dubliner, and the aforenoted, Poirier.
In the midst of a four-fight winning run, Trevor Wittman pupil, Gaethje has returned from his knockout loss to the above mentioned, Poirier, to stop the likes of James Vick, Edson Barboza, ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, and maybe most shockingly, the ever-present, Ferguson.
The 31-year-old is a former WSOF lightweight titleholder and has managed other professional wins over Michael Johnson, UFC alumnus, Melvin Guillard, Luiz Firmino, and Luis Palomino (x2). From twenty-two professional wins, Gaethje has managed a whopping nineteen knockout victories.