All eyes are on Abu Dhabi this weekend as UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov returns to action for the first time since UFC 242 all the way back in September 2019 (which feels like a decade ago).
Since Nurmagomedov beat Dustin Poirier, on what would later be termed ‘Fight Island’, the world has been plunged into chaos by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed over a million people. The pandemic prevented Nurmagomedov returning in the spring to face long time nemesis Tony Ferguson. Instead Justin Gaethje fought El Cucy and earned himself the interim lightweight title.
Now it’s time to unify those belts. So check the scales because both Nurmagomedov and Gaethje will have to weigh in at exactly 155 lbs or less. Alternate fighter Michael Chandler will also need to hit that mark if he wants to step into a title fight.
‘The Eagle’ is known for tortuous weigh cuts, so there could be some drama in store. You can see it all below, with video courtesy of our friends at MMA Fighting.
The stream starts at 1 a.m ET (!).
Main card (ESPN+ PPV at 2 p.m. ET)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (155) vs. Justin Gaethje (155)
Robert Whittaker (186) vs. Jared Cannonier (185)
Alexander Volkov (265) vs. Walt Harris (254)
Jacob Malkoun (186) vs. Phil Hawes (186)
Lauren Murphy (126) vs. Liliya Shakirova (126)
Magomed Ankalaev (205.5) vs. Ion Cutelaba (205.5)
Prelims (ESPN+, ESPN2 at 12 p.m. ET)
Stefan Struve (265) vs. Tai Tuivasa (265)
Nathaniel Wood (140) vs. Casey Kenney (140)
Alex Oliveira (173)* vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (171)
Da Un Jung (206) vs. Sam Alvey (206)
Prelims (ESPN+ at 11 a.m. ET)
Liana Jojua (126) vs. Miranda Maverick (126)
Joel Alvarez (159.5)** vs. Alexander Yakovlev (155.5)
*Oliveira came in 2 pounds over the welterweight limit
**Alvarez came in 3.5 pounds over the lightweight limit.
Michael Chandler (155)
Sergey Morozov (139.5)
Isi Fitikefu (203.5)
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