The stage is set for Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje to battle it out in the main event of UFC 254. The undisputed lightweight crown will belong to the winner of Saturday’s contest on Fight Island. Nurmagomedov is undefeated in his 28 professional bouts but hasn’t fought in over a year, when he beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 242.
However, UFC president believes can be classified as the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world with a win against Gaethje.
“Khabib is looking down the barrel of not only the greatest to ever do it in this division, but listen, I think if he beats Justin on Saturday, he’s the No 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and he’s on his way to GOAT status,” said White.
“He’s one of the biggest stars in the sport,” he added.
“Khabib’s videos have generated 222 million views. His content that features him, over 100 million video views just this year alone, just on Facebook.
“He’s broken records on Instagram. I could just rattle off numbers all day.
“He’s by far the No 1 most-played character in the video game globally. By a long shot.
“The numbers just go on and on. I could go on for days. The kid’s broken a lot of records.”
Gaethje became the interim lightweight champion when got the better of Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in May.
How to watch UFC 254 online and on TV
Khabib vs Gaethje will be shown on BT Sport Box Office in the UK.
Fans can book Saturday’s event for £19.95, with coverage beginning at 5pm BST.
BT Sport Box Office is available on BT TV channel 494 and Sky channel 490.
Virgin TV customers can access UFC 254 by pressing ‘On Demand’ and then ‘Live Events’ on their remotes.
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Fans wishing to live stream Khabib vs Gaethje can do so via the BT Sport Box Office app.
The app can be downloaded across mobile, tablet and gaming devices, with additional streaming available online via the BT Sport website.
Khabib vs Gaethje predictions
A spokesperson for thepools.com said: “Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his lightweight crown against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 this weekend – and the bookies are convinced he will retain his crown.
“Thepools.com give Khabib a 77.8% probability of victory on Saturday night, with Gaethje a big outsider with just a 28.6% chance of success on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
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“Khabib currently boasts a perfect record of 28 wins and no losses and has spoken of his dream to one day retire as an undefeated champion.
“But he will go toe to toe with one of the most skilled fighters in the UFC in Gaethje.
“Khabib on points is given a 26.7% likelihood while a stoppage success is a 22.2% chance and to win by submission a 34.8% chance.
“Khabib’s 28 wins are evenly split with ten submissions, ten via decision and eight by way of KO/TKO.
“Gaethje has won 86 per cent of his 22 victories by KO/TKO but that outcome is given only a 20 per cent likelihood by thepools.com.”
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