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UFC 254 Odds, Picks & Betting Preview – Nurmagomedov vs Gaethje

UFC 254
Khabib Nurmagomedov looks to defend his belt against interim champion, Justin Gaethje.
  • One of the most anticipated fights of 2020 headlines UFC 254 as Khabib Nurmagomedov battles Justin Gaethje
  • Former champ, Robert Whittaker takes on Jared Cannonier in a No. 1 contender bout at middleweight
  • See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full UFC 254 main card, below

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is set for their final event on Fight Island for 2020 that goes down on October 24 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

In the main event, undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is set for arguably the toughest test of his career when he battles interim champion, Justin Gaethje. The co-main event sees former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker takes on rising contender, Jared Cannonier.

UFC 254 main card airs live on pay-per-view at a special time of 2:00 PM EST. The table below shows odds for the main card at FanDuel and DraftKings, followed by best bets for the event.

UFC 254 Main Card Odds

Fighter Odds at FanDuel Odds at DraftKings
Khabib Nurmagomedov -340 -335
Justin Gaethje +260 +260
Fighter Odds Odds
Robert Whittaker +104 -106
Jared Cannonier -128 -118
Fighter Odds Odds
Alexander Volkov -154 -162
Walt Harris +126 +130
Fighter Odds Odds
Phil Hawes -280 -278
Jacob Malkoun +220 +215
Fighter Odds Odds
Lauren Murphy N/A -335
Liliya Shakirova N/A +240
Fighter Odds Odds
Magomed Ankalaev -290 -278
Ion Cutelaba +225 +215

Odds taken Oct. 19

Does Khabib Remain Undefeated?

Khabib Nurmagomedov is entering the conversation of being the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time. He is 28-0 which is unheard of in MMA and has said he will retire at 30-0, meaning he only has two fights left.

Nurmagomedov & Gaethje Recent Fights

Nurmagomedov
VS
Gaethje

Dustin Poirier, win by submission (title fight) Fight 1 Tony Ferguson, win by TKO (interim title fight)
Conor McGregor, win by submission (title fight) Fight 2 Donald Cerrone, win by KO
Al Iaquinta, win by decision (title fight) Fight 3 Edson Barboza, win by KO
Edson Barboza, win by decision Fight 4 James Vick, win by KO

This is probably the most anticipated fight of 2020, as this truly is the toughest test for Khabib Nurmagomedov. There is no question what the undefeated champion wants to do, and that is to take his opponent down and maul them with ground and pound and look for a submission.

However, Gaethje has a legit wrestling background as he is a two-time Arizona high school wrestling champion and a Division-1 All-American. So, he could stuff the takedowns and has one-punch knockout power that could pose problems for Nurmagomedov on the feet.

In the fight, expect Gaethje to come out and use his patented leg kicks to try and damage Nurmagomedov’s lead leg early. If he can hurt the lead leg of the champion, it can limit the movement and takedowns of Khabib. However, we have seen Nurmagomedov fight hard leg kickers before and had a ton of success.

Ultimately, Khabib Nurmagomedov will do what he always does and take Gaethje down over and over again and maul him. Eventually, in the third or fourth round, Nurmagomedov will sink in a choke and submit “The Highlight” to defend his belt for the third time.

Nurmagomedov vs Gaethje Stats

Nurmagomedov
VS
Gaethje

32 Age 31
5’10” Height 5’11”
70″ Reach 70″
6 UFC finishes 5

Although I like Nurmagomedov, the price is a little too high for me, so instead, I think you parlay him with another big favorite like Da Un Jung on the prelims or you look for the inside the distance prop.

Pick: Khabib Nurmagomedov (-335)

Will Cannonier Remain Undefeated at Middleweight?

Jared Cannonier has fought at heavyweight, light heavyweight, and middleweight in the UFC but has looked the best at 185lbs. However, at UFC 254 he is set for the toughest test of his tenure in the division as he battles former champion, Robert Whittaker.

Whittaker & Cannonier Recent Fights

Whittaker
VS
Cannonier

Darren Till, win by decision Fight 1 Jack Hermansson, win by TKO
Israel Adesanya, loss by TKO (title fight) Fight 2 Anderson Silva, win by TKO
Yoel Romero, win by split decision (title fight) Fight 3 David Branch, win by TKO
Yoel Romero, win by decision (title fight) Fight 4 Dominick Reyes, loss by TKO

This is a phenomenal fight that I wish was a fight night main event so we could see them potentially go five rounds. This is a good test for both men as it will prove if Whittaker is still the elite fighter he once was.  For Cannonier, it will prove if he is the contender many think he is.

Early on, I think Cannonier will have success and potentially even drop Whittaker as we saw Till do early. However, I like the former champion to start using his jab and leg kicks to outpoint Cannonier in the second and third rounds to win the fight and cement his case as the No. 1 contender at middleweight.

Pick: Robert Whittaker (+104)

Other UFC 254 Picks:

  • Alexander Volkov (-154): I like Volkov to use his height and reach advantage to pick Harris apart en route to a decision win.
  • Phil Hawes (-278): I think Hawes should be able to finish the fight via TKO but, I don’t like the odds.
  • Lauren Murphy (-335): Murphy should be able to win a decision. However, this is Shakirova’s UFC debut, and she hasn’t fought in a year so we don’t know what she will look like, so I’d stay away from betting this fight.
  • Magomed Ankalaev (-278): Ankalaev and Cutelaba are finally having their rematch. I like Ankalaev to win by TKO again but this time in a much more convincing fashion.
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