Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is locked and loaded for the upcoming UFC 254 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which takes place inside Flash Forum on Yas Island — also known as “Fight Island” — in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), TODAY (Sat., Oct. 24, 2020) streaming live via ESPN+. The championship main event will feature reigning lightweight kingpin Khabib Nurmagomedov defending his 155-pound strap against interim titleholder Justin Gaethje. UFC 254 also hosts the middleweight showdown between former champion Robert Whittaker and surging power-puncher Jared Cannonier, who collide for a shot at the 185-pound strap, currently held by undefeated striking sensation Israel Adesanya.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card below, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN2 at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps, and post-fight analysis following “Khabib vs. Gaethje.” Without further delay, see below for the latest UFC 254 results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action.)
UFC 254 QUICK RESULTS:
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje — Nurmagomedov def. Gaethje by submission (triangle choke) at 1:34 of Round Two — HIGHLIGHTS
Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier — Whittaker def. Cannonier by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Walt Harris vs. Alexander Volkov — Volkov def. Harris by TKO (body kick and punches) at 1:15 of Round Two
Phil Hawes vs. Jacob Malkoun — Hawes def. Malkoun by KO (punches) at 0:18 of Round One
Lauren Murphy vs. Liliya Shakirova — Murphy def. Shakirova by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:31 of Round Two
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba — Ankalaev def. Cutelaba by KO (punches) at 4:19 of Round One
Stefan Struve vs. Tai Tuivasa — Tuivasa def. Struve by TKO (punches) at 4:59 of Round One — HIGHLIGHTS
Casey Kenney vs. Nathaniel Wood — Kenney def. Wood by unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)
Alex Oliveira vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov — Rakhmonov def. Oliveira by submission (guillotine choke) at 4:40 of Round One — HIGHLIGHTS
Sam Alvey vs. Da Un Jung — Split draw (28-29, 29-28, 28-28)
Liana Jojua vs. Miranda Maverick — Maverick def. Jojua by TKO (cut) at 5:00 of Round One
Joel Alvarez vs. Alexander Yakovlev — Alvarez def. Yakovlev by submission (armbar) at 3:00 of Round One — HIGHLIGHTS
UFC 254 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
155 lbs.: UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje
Round 1: Nurmagomedov circling to start. Low kick from Gaethje. Aborts the next kick. One minute in. Gaethje inside low kick and they trade right hands. Nurmagomedov whiffs on an uppercut and Gaethje scurries away from teh fence. Low kick connects for Gaethje, Nurmagomedov unable to tie up. Lead right from Gaethje, left hooks fall short two minutes in. Good 1-2 from Nurmagomedov, who eats a swatting right hand in return. Nurmagomedov body kick and jab. Running knee attempt. Leg kick from Gaethje. Two minutes to go.
Gaethje tries a head kick, takes a body shot. 1-2 from Nurmagomedov, flying knee attempt. Stiff jab and low kick from Nurmagomedov. Gaethje leg kick, eats a right hand in return. Big right hand and left hook by Gaethje. One minute to go. Another heavy leg kick. Overhand right. Nurmavomedov lead right and body kick, eats a left hook and low kick. Nurmagomedov completes a double-leg against the fence. Full mount and he looks for an armbar, unable to separate Gaethje’s hands. 10-9 Nurmagomedov.
Round 2: Nurmagomedov continuing to press forward, eats a left hook and lands a leg kick. Another left hook from Gaethje, denies a level change. Hard leg kick appears to sting Nurmagomedov. One minute in. Two more low kicks, but Nurmagomedov times one for a takedown into mount. Mounted triangle and he goes to his back to cinch it up. Gaethje taps, but the ref fails to see it, leaving him unconscious by the time Nurmagomedov releases him.
Final result: Nurmagomedov def. Gaethje by submission (triangle choke)
185 lbs.: Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier
Round 1: Hard low kick from Cannonier to start. Jab from Whittaker. They trade low kicks and both men slip in sequence. Whittaker tries a head kick. One minute in. Whittaker lands a jab, tries another head kick. Low kick exchange. More low kicks by Cannonier. Counter left catches Cannonier jumping in. Two minutes in. Whittaker just misses with a head kick, then rattles Cannonier with a straight right. Low kick, jabs. Cannonier leg kick met with jabs. Two minutes to go.
Whittaker tries a 1-2-3. Jab connects, Cannonier answers with a leg kick. More jabs from the former champ. One minute to go. Cannonier with a counter right. Whittaker tries a head kick. Cannonier with some nice body kicks. 10-9 Whittaker.
Round 2: Whittaker tries to answer a low kick with a combination. Continuing to fire his jab. Cannonier standing southpaw and they trade body kicks. Head kick blocked, short uppercut by Whittaker a minute in. More leg kicks by Cannonier. Whittaker right cross. More jabs, 1-2 after taking a low kick. Cannonier with a two-piece two minutes in. Body kick from Whittaker. They trade in the center. More stiff jabs by Whittaker, then a straight right behind it. Cannonier leaning on the kicks so far. Two minutes to go.
Whittaker continues to jab, Cannonier continues to target the lead leg. Lead right and a takedown by Whittaker, can’t establish, tries a head kick on the break. One minute to go. Whittaker jab, Cannonier leg kicks and a nice overhand right. Whittaker triples up the jab in response. Clean 1-2. 1-1-2 this time. 10-9 Whittaker.
Round 3: Whittaker’s jab splitting the guard. Front kick attempt. Another heavy jab. 1-2-head kick and Cannonier’s rocked. He stumbles to the mat, but manages to tie up and close his guard a minute in. Half guard for Whittaker. Looking for an arm triangle, drops it. He switches sides, then steps to mount two minutes in. An elbow splits Cannonier open and Whittaker latches onto his back. Cannonier manages to scramble to his feet and put him on the fence. Two minutes to go.
Knees from Cannonier. Whittaker breaks his grip and separates. Cannonier tries a head kick. Lancing jab from Whittaker. On the counter this time. One minute to go. Cannonier tries a switch kick, gets cracked by a jab soon after. Suddenly a right hand from Cannonier rattles Whittaker. Whittaker goes for a reactive takedown and puts him on the fence. Cannonier slips throwing a knee. 10-9 Whittaker.
Final result: Whittaker def. Cannonier by unanimous decision
265 lbs.: Walt Harris vs. Alexander Volkov
Round 1: Volkov on the front foot, avoids a combination and head kick. They trade, neither connect. Body kick from Harris. One minute in. Counter 2-3 lands for Volkov. Continuing to slowly advance, cracks Harris with a counter left and looks for a combo behind it. Two minutes in. Volkov leg kick and body shot, avoids some big lefts. Harris body kick and right hook near the fence. Volkov body kick, short right hands. Two minutes to go.
Volkov leg kick, two-piece upstairs. Harris lands a leg kick. Looping right slips around his guard. One minute to go. Hard body shot hurts Harris and Volkov tries to put him away. Harris comes back with some heavy swings to back him off. 10-9 Volkov.
Round 2: Harris fakes a level change and fires a combination. Real level change this time, denied. Straight left connects. Good right cross by Volkov. One minute in. Volkov fires a snap kick to the midsection that draws an audible groan as Harris folds, then Volkov punishes him with punches for the finish.
Final result: Volkov def. Harris by TKO (body kick and punches)
155 lbs.: Phil Hawes vs. Jacob Malkoun
Round 1: Hawes immediately cracks Malkoun with a right cross that wobbles him, then puts him to sleep against the fence.
Final result: Hawes def. Malkoun by KO (punches)
125 lbs.: Lauren Murphy vs. Liliya Shakirova
Round 1: Murphy advancing, blocks a head kick. Low kicks from Shakirova. Counter right by Murphy a minute in. They exchange. Shakirova jab falls short, eats a left hook after trying a leg kick. Spinning back fist. More low kicks as she circles. She looks for a low single, denied two minutes in. Murphy tries to open up against the fence. They trade punches. Two minutes to go.
1-2 by Murphy. Shakirova tries to spin. Both try kicks, blocked. Shakirova ducks a left hook and shoots, gets cracked with Browne elbows against the fence. Murphy gets an underhook and reverses. Shakirova body blow after separating. 10-9 Murphy.
Round 2: Murphy tries a head kick as she presses forward. Shakirova haed kick blocked. Murphy looks for combinations on the fence a minute in. 1-2 from Shakirova, who eats a body kick and knees when she tries to tie up. Two minutes in. Murphy tries a head kick. Shakirova ties up, eats some shots in the clinch, and gets put on the fence. Murphy muscles her down into guard via double unders. Punches from the top. Two minutes to go.
Shakirova rolls to her knees and Murphy immediately takes the back, wrapping up the RNC and forcing the tap.
Final result: Murphy def. Shakirova by submission (rear naked choke)
205 lbs.: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba
Round 1: Cutelaba advancing, eats a leg kick. Ankalaev tries a front kick and left hand behind it. One minute in. Cutelaba answers a low kick with a heavy overhand right. Long straight right. Hard body kick by Ankalaev, walks into another pair of counters. Two minutes in. Body kick by Cutelaba, eats a 3-2 in return. Check hook and knee by Ankalaev. Two minutes to go.
Counter straight left lands for Ankalaev as they paw at each other’s lead hands. Check hook. Heavy straight left drops Cutelaba as the latter tries to spin, but he pops back to his feet. One minute to go. Cutelaba tries to step in again and this time it’s a 3-2 that sends him crashing to the ground. A few more punches and the Molodovan is unconscious.
Final result: Ankalaev def. Cutelaba by KO (punches)
265 lbs.: Stefan Struve vs. Tai Tuivasa
Round 1: Struve tossing out some kicks to start. Head kick falls short. Tuivasa tries a combination near the fence. Low kick connects. One minute in. Tuivasa punches into the clinch, lands short punches. More body blows. Two minutes in. Struve briefly considers a guillotine. They separate. Struve body kick, Tuivasa punches. Struve with a nice staggered head kick. Two minutes to go.
Tuivasa swings some punches and puts him on teh fence once again. Good shots on the break. Low kicks connect. One minute to go. Struve with some kicks as well. Body kick lands for him. Another good low kick by Tuivasa. Another flurry on the fence, a few glance off. Struve tries a throw, loses his grip, and gets blasted with punches as he tries to stand. A massive uppercut splits the guard and down goes the Skyscraper.
Final result: Tuivasa def. Struve by TKO (punches)
135 lbs.: Casey Kenney vs. Nathaniel Wood
Round 1: Some rapid exchanges right off the bat, with Wood getting the better of it. Kenney slips throwing a head kick, takes a leg kick, lands an overhand left. Nice trades a minute in. Heavy kicks by both men. 3-2 seems to sting Wood. Wood continuing to attack the lead leg, takes a glancing spinning back fist two minutes in. Hard 2-3 by Wood. 1-2 from Kenney. More Wood low kicks met by a right cross. Long left knocks Wood back. Left hands from Kenney. Two minutes to go.
Counter 3-2 and leg kick by Kenney. Straight left, hard 3-2. Wood’s keeping up with him but taking the bigger shots so far. Kenney answers a low kick with a heavy counter. Back to trading. One minute to go. Spinning back kick from Kenney. Wood answers a leg kick with a left hook. Kenney with a leg kick and Superman punch. Body kick to spinning back kick, Wood tries to spin in turn. 10-9 Kenney.
Round 2: Wood comes out swinging. Kenney tries a wheel kick, lands a straight left. Wood leg kick, Keneny counter right. They trade hooks. One minute in. Long series of leg kicks by Wood, who denies a shot. Kenney body kick, eats a left hook in return. Trading jabs. Kenney goes low-high with kicks. Wood outworking him this round. Two minutes in. Stiff jab from Wood, eats a right hook. Trading kicks. Kenney with a check hook, eats a left as he tries to answer some leg kicks. Hard left hook by Wood, combination from Kenney. Two minutes to go.
Wood looking the fresher of the two, denies a takedown. Huge counters by Kenney after a strong sequence from Wood. One minute to go. Brief clinch. Wood ties up for a moment. Nice counters by Wood. Kenney shoots, denied. Straight left connects, low kick catches Wood off-balance. 10-9 Wood.
Round 3: They trade kicks to start. Good combinations from both. Kenney digs a left to the body. Trading in the center. Wood shoots, denied a minute in. Wood low kicks met by a left hand. Kenney shoots and immediately looks for the back. Two minutes in. Wood stuck on all fours. He tries to hit the switch, denied. Two minutes to go.
Wood works his way back to his feet and separates. 1-2 from Kenney, body kick behind it. Wood shoots, denied, tries a right hand. Combination bounces off the guard. Level change met by a left hand. Kenney combo falls short, well-timed takedown denied. One minute to go. Big straight left by Kenney. Both swing big. Wood combination, denies a shot. Great fight. 10-9 Kenney.
Final result: Kenney def. Wood by unanimous decision
170 lbs.: Alex Oliveira vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov
Round 1: Oliveira lands a heavy right cross in the early going. Low kick exchange. 1-2 falls short. One minute in. Low kick from Rakhmonov. Oliveira tries a front kick, lands a leg kick. Hard right hand by Rakhmonov, who follows up with a knee to the body and puts him on the fence. Two minutes in. Outside trip isn’t there, knees connect. Oliveira reverses. He looks for his own trip, denied. Two minutes to go.
Oliveira changes levels, can’t get it. One minute to go. Short knees. He lingers there a bit too long and Rakhmonov jumps guard on a guillotine, forcing a tap.
Final result: Rakhmonov def. Oliveira by submission (guillotine choke)
205 lbs.: Sam Alvey vs. Da Un Jung
Round 1: Jung slowly advancing, sends out a body kick. Allvey lands a low kick as he’s backed to the fence. Jung digs a right to the body a minute in. He slips throwing a front kick, pops back up, takes a leg kick and lands one in return. 1-2 from Alvey. Low kick from Jung, keeping him near the fence two minutes in. Good exchange. Three-piece from Jung. Alvey forces him back with some big swings. Both fire their power hands. 1-2 from Jung. Alvey buzzes him with a counter left with two minutes to go.
Jung grabs the clinch, takes some short punches. They separate. Alvey pawing at his eye, eats a 1-2 and a combination. Again Alvey punches his way off the fence. Both swing hard. One minute to go. Left hand by Alvey. Counter right. 1-2 from Jung. They trade on the fence. Alvey comes after him in the waning seconds and walks into another eye poke. 10-9 Alvey.
Round 2: They trade, good left from Alvey. Four-piece by Jung, both swing big. One minute in. Low kick from Alvey. Jung continuing to advance but not getting the better of it consistently. Body shot lands for him. Alvey popping him with rights as he steps in. Two minutes in. Jung tries a head kick, takes a 1-2. Flurry from Alvey, who walks into a left hook and lands another leg kick. Jung with a two-piece, takes one in return. Two minutes to go.
They trade leg kicks. Alvey finds the mark with a left-right. He tries to rush. Another calf kick bothers Jung. One minute to go. Hard combo by the Korean. Nasty uppercut from Alvey. 2-1 to get off the fence. 10-9 Alvey.
Round 3: Alvey landing leg kicks, fires a combo and gets floored by a right elbow. Jung looking to pound him out, but Alvey scrambles back up, Jung attached to his waist. Right hands from Jung a minute in. They separate and they return to their usual pursuit. Heavy uppercuts from Alvey and he puts together a lengthy combo. Two minutes in. Low kick lands for him. Jabs upstairs. Counter right, another uppercut. Jung appears to be more passive, but then visibly hurts Alvey with another elbow. He ties up against the fence. Two minutes to go.
Jung going hard for the takedown. Not inclined to separate when given the change. Outside reap, not successful and Alvey reverses. One minute to go. Brutal elbow on the break. Jung stomps after him with punches, can’t find the finish. 10-9 Jung.
Final result: Split draw
125 lbs.: Liana Jojua vs. Miranda Maverick
Round 1: Right hand lands for Jojua early on. Good 1-2. Side kick from Maverick. Another clean counter by the Georgian. One minute in. Combination from Maverick. Body kick falls short, as does a 1-2. Clean left to a low kick in the pocket. Good exchange. Mavreick looking more aggressive, eats a counter right as she lands a pair of leg kicks. Straight left, side kick. Straight left after a feinted Superman punch. Two minutes in, body kick lands. Another hard left by Maverick. Body kick and left hand. Jojua still sending out the counter rights but getting outworked. Two minutes to go.
There’s a counter right from Jojua as Maverick fires a combo. Right hand to the body, another counter right after avoiding a knee. Maverick sticks a left hand to the body. Lead elbow to left hand. One minute to go. Jojua just a step behind as Maverick sends out lefts. More hard lefts by Maverick and a crushing elbow that splits open Jojua’s nose. Nice body kick. 10-9 Maverick.
Yeah, that nose is done. Despite Jojua’s protests, the ref calls it.
Final result: Maverick def. Jojua by TKO (cut)
155 lbs.: Joel Alvarez vs. Alexander Yakovlev
Round 1: Alvarez orthodox, Yakovlev southpaw. Low kick from the Russian, who blocks a head kick in return. Low kicks from Alvarez. Yakovlev shoots in for a single-leg and Alvarez immediately wraps up a guillotine. One minute in. Yakovlev surviving so far. He worms his head out and starts landing short punches two minutes in. Alvarez spins for an armbar after they swat at each other for a bit, and despite a strong effort from Yakovlev, this one draws the tap.
Final result: Alvarez def. Yakovlev by submission (armbar)