Khabib vs Gaethje UFC 254 Odds, Picks & Predictions To Back
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The biggest MMA event of the year takes place when UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his title against interim champion Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. It’s a clash of two contrasting styles, the most dominant fighter in the sport versus the most violent one in the sport, with everything on the line.
Should Nurmagomedov win, he cements himself as the greatest lightweight of all time, and arguably the greatest fighter of all time. Should Gaethje win, he becomes the man who unseated the unstoppable force, and stakes his own claim to lightweight immortality.
The stakes could not be higher, and that’s not even addressing the litany of excellent undercard fights. So, let’s get to it with everything you need to know for a successful UFC betting Saturday.
UFC 254 Odds & Predictions
| Khabib Nurmagomedov |
Win By Submission
| Nurmagomedov To Win |
In Round 4
|Justin Gaethje by KO/TKO|| +375|
| Jared Cannonier to |
Defeat Robert Whittaker
| Alexander Volkov Over |
Walt Harris By Decision
| +230 |
| Alex Oliveira To Defeat |
Khabib vs Gaethje UFC 254 Betting Guide & Top Bets
Khabib Nurmagomedov to Win By Submission
There’s not much to say about Khabib that hasn’t been said before. He’s the most dominant force in the sport, an athletic marvel with the most complex and destructive ground game we’ve ever seen. He has pioneered new ways to control and manipulate people on the mat, and he backs that up with a sophisticated understanding of tactics and strategy. Thus far in his career, Khabib has only lost a single round, and there’s a reason for that: He is, quite simply, the best.
Gaethje is an entirely different animal. Though he is not averse to winning rounds, his fights are often about losing battles to win the war, a feat he accomplished by being tough as hell with bricks for hands. The recent run that has seen him earn an interim title though has instead been defined by controlled bursts of violence and a renewed focus on defense.
He would be better served to abandon that in this fight though, as drawing Khabib into a brawl may be the best way to potentially kick over the apple cart.
Because of his greatness, Khabib fights are simple to breakdown: Can his opponent keep it on the feet? So far, 28 men have tried and 28 have failed. The reason people are so interested in this fight is because of the wrestling pedigree Gaethje brings into it (he’s a former D-I All-American wrestler), and the belief that he may be the first to succeed.
This is wishful thinking though. Gaethje is likely the more technical wrestler but Khabib is the vastly better athlete, and this isn’t the NCAAs. Gaethje can sprawl on the shot, will still be forced to the cage where his pedigree will amount to nothing and Khabib will secure the takedowns he needs to win.
In the end, Khabib is as inexorable as the tide and before too long, Gaethje will give up his neck the same as everyone else. Nurmagomedov by submission at bet365 is the best bet.
Nurmagomedov to Win in Round 4
For most of his career, Khabib largely won dominant, one-sided decisions. However, in the last few years Khabib has seemingly perfected his craft and is now an excellent finisher. That being said, his means of victory is to break the spirit of his opponent first and then submit them when there is little resistance left to be had.
Gaethje has an indomitable will and won’t be broken, but as the fight wears on and he recognizes that he is losing, Gaethje will start attempting to create scrambles to make something happen. What will end up happening though is he will get submitted as a result.
Round selection bets are always a bit tricky, so don’t go too wild here, but Khabib should win in the late middle rounds, so at this price, this is worth a flier at bet365.
Justin Gaethje by KO/TKO, +375
Everything said above holds true, however, the one big bonus Gaethje brings into this fight is his power. Gaethje is arguably the biggest puncher in the division and certainly has the potential to turn the lights out on any man, even Khabib.
Given the clear contours of this bout, Gaethje won’t have that many opportunities to do so, but if you feel like giving yourself an escape hatch for the Puncher’s Chance to come to fruition, Gaethje by KO at these odds with bet365 can set you up for a no-lose situation.
UFC 254 Connonier vs Whitaker Betting Guide
In the co-main event of UFC 254, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker takes on Jared Cannonier in a bout that could determine the next challenger for Israel Adesanya’s title, and given that Adesanya already demolished Whittaker, fans are hoping Cannonier will get the biggest win of his career. Fortunately for them, that seems likely to happen.
Whittaker is the classic well-rounded fighter, exceedingly competent in all phases of the sport but without a true lynchpin for his offense to fall back upon in times of need. During his title reign, that didn’t punish him as he was able to exploit weaknesses of opponents due to his versatility.
However, he paid a high price to do so. Whittaker spent 50 minutes getting battered by Yoel Romero in wars that clearly took something from him. Though he’s still an elite fighter, his insane durability has been somewhat cracked, and now it will always be a question whether he can stand up to heavy fire.
And heavy fire is exactly what Cannonier brings to the table. Since dropping to middleweight, Cannonier has been a wrecking ball of power on the feet and given his advantage in reach, that portends ill for Whittaker.
Whittaker needs takedowns to win this fight, but he’s never been the most active offensive wrestler and to do so against Cannonier means he will have to eat some shots. The most likely scenario is that one of those shots puts him down and from there it’s just a question of Whittaker’s ability to survive.
You can get plus odds for Cannonier by KO/TKO but the safer bet is to just take the straight up action at a reasonable price with bet365.
UFC 254 Volkov vs Harris Betting Guide
This is a fairly straightforward bout. Alexander Volkov is an anomaly in the heavyweight division as a rangy kickboxer who uses a high volume, low-power attack and is prone to decisions. Walt Harris is much the opposite, a plus athlete who comes forward with power and looks to end the night early.
Harris is not the most durable fighter in the world, but most of his losses have come on the mat, and Volkov is unlikely to take things there, meaning this will be a straight kickboxing bout. Volkov’s volume and durability should allow him to outlast Harris. Grab the best odds with bet365.
UFC 254 Oliveira vs Rakhmonov Betting Guide
This fight is far from straightforward but the reason for betting it is. Alex Oliveira is a veteran of the UFC who has proven his mettle against some of the best in the world. On top of that, Oliveira is also an incredible physical specimen; that allows him to make up for some tactical errors he is prone to.
Conversely, Rakhmonov is a hyped prospect making his UFC debut, with a well-rounded game. He has used that to take advantage of the weaknesses of lesser fighters. Against Oliveira, no such weaknesses exist. This is a huge step up in competition for Rakhmonov, so fading him at bet365 in his UFC debut provides good value.
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UFC 254 Date, Time & TV Information
When is UFC 254?
UFC 254 is Saturday, October 24, on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
What Time is UFC 254?
The main card is schedule to begin at 2 p.m. ET; the preliminary card begins at noon. ET.
Where Can I Watch UFC 254?
UFC 254’s undercard with be available on ESPN 2, while the main card is available on EPSN PPV.