By Thomas Schlarp
Khabib Nurmagomedov, one of UFC’s fiercest fighters, finally returns to the Octagon after 13 months off in a bout against Justin Gaethje in UFC 254 for the lightweight championship.
Nurmagomedov (28-0) last fought in September 2019 at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, defeating Dustin Poirier by way of a third-round submission. His 28-win unbeaten streak is the longest active streak in the UFC. Talks have swirled about a potential rematch for Nurmagomedov with Conor McGregor, but the Russian fighter expressed zero interest in the fight and instead would rather face Georges St-Pierre.
Gaethje (22-2), the reigning interim titleholder, defeated Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in May. Nurmagomedov was originally scheduled to fight Ferguson at UFC 249, but COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented the champion from traveling to the United States, forcing Gaethje to take the fight on short notice.
Middleweights Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier are the co-main event in a fight with potential title ramifications. UFC president Dana White said that if Cannonier wins, he’ll get a shot a Israel Adesanya’s belt.
There are six prelim bouts scheduled to take place before the pay-per-view portion of the afternoon begins.
Here are the full details for watching Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje and the rest of UFC 254:
What channel is UFC 254 on tonight?
UFC 254 will be split into two parts: the main card and the prelims. The prelim fights can be seen on ESPN, ESPN+ or on the WatchESPN app at no added charge outside of standard cable fees. The main card moves exclusively to pay-per-view on ESPN+. Viewers must have a subscription to the ESPN+ streaming service and then pay an additional fee for the fights.
- UFC 254 prelims TV channel: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
- UFC 254 main card channel: ESPN+
What time does Khabib vs. Gaethje start?
It’s a rare early event as coverage for UFC 254 begins on TV at 10:15 a.m. ET for the early prelim action. There are six prelim fights scheduled, and they will be stretched out for about four hours.
The UFC 254 main card starts at 2 p.m., with the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje title fight likely not beginning before 4 p.m. ET.
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 24
- Early prelims: 10:15 a.m. ET
- Prelims: 12 p.m. ET
- Main card: 2 p.m. ET
- Live stream: ESPN+
How much does UFC 254 cost on PPV?
The prelims for UFC 254 are free to watch on TV or via WatchESPN for cable subscribers, but the main event requires a pay-per-view purchase AND ESPN+ subscription to watch. The PPV price for UFC 254 is $ 64.99 for current ESPN+ subscribers, while new subscribers can pay a bundle price of $ 84.98 for UFC 254 and an ESPN+ annual subscription.
UFC 254 fight card
- Khabib Nurmagomedov (c) vs. Justin Gaethje (int. c) for Numagomedov’s Lightweight title
- Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier; Middleweight
- Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris; Heavyweight
- Jacob Malhoun vs. Phil Hawes; Middleweight
- Cynthia Calvillo vs. Lauren Murphy; Flyweight
- Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba; Light Heavyweight
- Stefan Struve vs. Tai Tuivasa; Heavyweight
- Alex Oliveira vs. Shavkat Rahkmonov; Welterweight
- Da-un Ung vs. Sam Alvey; Light heavyweight
- Nathaniel Wood vs. Casey Kenney; Catchweight
- Liana Jojua vs. Miranda Maverick; Flyweight
- Joel Alvarez vs. Alexander Yakovlev; Lightweight