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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 14 August, 2020

UFC confirm Khabib Nurmagomedov's lightweight unification bout for October

In his first fight for over a year, the undefeated Dagestani will take on interim champion Justin Gaethje.

Screen Shot 2020-07-29 at 09.58.24 Source: UFC

THE UFC LIGHTWEIGHT title unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) and Justin Gaethje (22-2) has been made official.

The mixed martial arts organisation has confirmed that the pair will square off at the top of the bill for UFC 254, with a venue yet to be decided.

It will be a first outing in 13 months for 155-pound champion Nurmagomedov, who hasn’t fought since his third-round submission of Dustin Poirier last September.

In his absence, Gaethje won an interim title in May by halting the 12-fight win streak of American compatriot Tony Ferguson with a fifth-round TKO.

Nurmagomedov has been at the summit of the lightweight division since April 2018. After defeating Al Iaquinta to win the vacant title, the undefeated 31-year-old Dagestani made a successful first defence with a fourth-round submission of former champion Conor McGregor.

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Gaethje has been on a spectacular run of form since suffering back-to-back losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. The 31-year-old Arizona native’s triumph over Tony Ferguson marked his fourth consecutive (T)KO victory, following on from his finishes of James Vick, Edson Barboza and Donald Cerrone.

Nurmagomedov returns to action after mourning the death of his father and coach, Abdulmanap, who passed away earlier this month after contracting Covid-19.

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Paul Dollery

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