Champion vs Champion
This weekend sees one of the biggest fights of the year as UFC® lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov takes on interim champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje in a highly anticipated title unification bout in UFC®254.
The Russian will be looking to continue his undefeated run this weekend as he takes on his toughest opponent to date. He’ll be hoping a win on Sunday will help to secure his place as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. The Eagles is known for his style of grappling, making him one of most dominant athletes in the history of MMA. He has notable finishes against Conor McGregor as well as Dustin Poirier and Michael Johnson.
The Highlight is also worthy of praise for his journey in UFC to date, including his current four-fight win streak. The American is known for his powerful stand-up fighting style and he’s delivered 19 of his 22 wins by KO. He also knows how to put on a good show with five Fight of the Night bonuses and four Performance of the Night awards under his belt. With noteworthy KO victories against Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone and Tony Ferguson this matchup is sure to bring fireworks.
In the co-main event, there is an exciting line up in the middleweight division as former champion Robert Whittaker takes on Jared Cannonier.
Whittaker will be hoping he can place his name firmly in the hat the for another title challenge with a victory this weekend. The No. 1 ranked UFC middleweight contender has a record of 9-1 at the middleweight division. His only loss was against Israel Adesanya when he lost his belt back at UFC® 243. Since then, The Reaper has been working his way back and had success at the last Fight Island series with a victory coming against Darren Till at UFC Fight Night® 174. He’ll be on a mission to prove he’s well on the way to regaining that belt.
Jared Cannonier enters his biggest contest to date as he takes on the former champion. The Killa Gorilla has been on a knockout spree thanks to three straight KO wins in the division and now will be looking to add another to that tally. The No. 2 ranked UFC middleweight contender began his UFC career in the heavyweight division before moving down to the light heavyweight division and finally the middleweight division. The Texan seems to have finally found his home in his current division where he holds stoppage victories over David Branch, Jack Hermansson and Anderson Silva.
Both men want a shot at the middleweight title belt but who will be victorious in their quest?
Top rising prospects collide
Over in the prelims, London-born Nathaniel “The Prospect” Wood takes on Casey Kenney in a UFC catchweight bout. The Brit is one of the UFC’s up-and-coming talent. The Prospect will be making his second appearance at Fight Island after getting the better of John Castaneda after three rounds back in July. This weekend will be a chance for those who haven’t seen Wood do his thing yet to start tracking the rising star.
Casey Kenney is also a top prospect of the division. The American is also returning to fight island, but his absence is slightly shorter having already featured three weeks ago when he defeated Heili Alateng at UFC Fight Night®: Holms vs Aldana. He holds professional wins over former flyweight title challenger Ray Borg, Louis Smolka and Manny Bermudez and will be looking to use his skills in speed and grappling to get a win over his opponent.
Both athletes sit at 4-1 in the Octagon® but who will make it five?