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White: Khabib vs Gaethje rebooked for Oct. 24 — ‘That fight’s going to happen’

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Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his 155-pound title against top division contender Justin Gaethje at the promotion’s UFC 254 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Oct. 24, 2020, according to promotion president Dana White.

A city and venue have yet to be finalized.

Their five-round showdown was originally booked for UFC 253 in September; however, Nurmagomedov suffered the loss of his father Abdulmanap and the bout was postponed. The somber “Eagle” resumed his training in Dagestan just last week.

As promised.

“That fight’s going to happen,” White told CNN Sport’s Don Riddell (via MMA Junkie). “Khabib versus Gaethje, October 24. It’s been very rough on him. His father was a hero to him, he loved his father, they had a very, very close relationship and it was very hard on him.”

Nurmagomedov (28-0) has not competed since defeating Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 back in late 2019. As for the streaking Gaethje (22-2), he’s coming off a technical knockout win over lightweight “Boogeyman” Tony Ferguson in the UFC 249 headliner just a few months back.

Taking over the UFC 253 headliner is reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who puts his 185-pound strap on the line against undefeated Brazilian bruiser Paulo Costa. Their Sept. 19 showdown is also waiting on a city and venue as the world continues to battle coronavirus.

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 254: “Khabib vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.