The time has arrived. With everyone successfully making weight this morning, UFC 254 is a go. Holding one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history, UFC 254 promises to deliver. These are your expert predictions for UFC 254, Khabib vs Gaethje.
Early Main Card Fights
Magomed Ankalaev vs Ion Cutelaba
Ross / MMAMatchmaking: Ion Cutelaba
Keelin McNamara: Magomed Ankalaev
Hunter Bos: Ion Cutelaba
Erik Larson: Magomed Anakalaev
Jack Kennedy: Ion Cutelaba
Lauren Murphy vs Liliya Shakirova
Ross / MMAMatchmaking: Lauren Murphy
Keelin McNamara: Lauren Murphy
Hunter Bos: Lauren Murphy
Erik Larson: Lauren Murphy
Jack Kennedy: Lauren Murphy
Jacob Malkoun vs Phil Hawes
Ross / MMAMatchmaking: Phil Hawes
Keelin McNamara: Jacob Malkoun
Hunter Bos: Phil Hawes
Erik Larson: Phil Hawes
Jack Kennedy: Phil Hawes
Second Half of the Main Card
Alexander Volkov vs Walt Harris
Ross / MMAMatchmaking: Walt Harris. Volkov is the better striker, possibly one of the best technicality sound strikers in the division, but after seeing how he handled Blaydes wrestling, I think Harris will do about the same to Volkov, and here’s another thing…. Harris striking is better than Blaydes so Volkov is in for some trouble.
Keelin McNamara: Alexander Volkov
Hunter Bos: Walt Harris
Erik Larson: Walt Harris; Harris’ power and pressure will be too much for Volkov.
Jack Kennedy: I’ve got to take Walt here. Volkov is definitely the more technically sound fighter, but Harris possesses that raw heavyweight power that can put anyone to sleep.
Robert Whittaker vs Jared Cannonier
Ross / MMAMatchmaking: Robert Whittaker. I really wanted to pick Jared on this but my heart and soul tell me Robert’s big fight experience and maybe even some wrestling will get this W for Whittaker.
Keelin McNamara: Robert Whittaker; his intelligence and ability to adapt to his opponent is quite widely underestimated.
Hunter Bos: Robert Whittaker; His fight IQ and history with dealing with heavy hitters will give him the upper edge. Whittaker just has more experience all around
Erik Larson: Jared Cannonier. The MMA Gods demand a sacrifice and the Killa Gorilla is going full Apocalypto, delivering up Bobby Knuckles to satisfy their thirst for violence.
Jack Kennedy: Going Cannonier for this one. I absolutely love Bobby Knuckles, but going 10 rounds with Yoel Romero has taken its toll. Though Robert Whittaker has more in his pocket, Cannonier has been on an absolute tear lately and will get the win in this one.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje
Ross / MMAMatchmaking: Justin Gaethje. Everyone says it, but I truly believe Justin Gaethje is the man to dethrone Khabib. Personally, I believe Gaethje is the best 155 on the planet and he will show it. He will stuff Khabibs takedowns (mostly) and his power will be too much for Khabib to take. As long as Justin keeps it in the center of the octagon, I love this fight for Gaethje.
Keelin McNamara: Heart says Justin, head says Khabib; think Khabib WILL win, but I WANT Justin to win.
Hunter Bos: Khabib, though Justin may have good wrestling, Justin hasn’t used his wrestling in the UFC or even attempted a takedown. He may be too rusty to wrestle against the best MMA fighter of all time.
Erik Larson: Justin Gaethje. After seeing what his leg kicks and left hook did to Tony Ferguson, I have faith he’ll be able to damage Khabib. Justin by round 3 TKO.
Jack Kennedy: I recently published an article about why Justin Gaethje could upset the champ. For a number of reasons, Gaethje will be the toughest fighter Khabib has ever had to face. However, though Justin has the potential to beat Khabib, I will not believe it until I see it. Khabib takes this one.