UFC 254 news: Khabib vs Justin Gaethje could take place during European prime time


European MMA fans appear to be set for a treat next month following the news that Khabib Nurmagomedov's lightweight title defence against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 is reportedly going to take place during 'European prime time'.

UFC pay-per-views tend to take place during the evenings over in the US, forcing European fans to rise in the early hours to cheer on their favourite fighters.

However, that is not going to be the case, according to MMA journalist Carlos Contreras Legaspi, who revealed that UFC president Dana White plans to hold the event in the evening for European time zones, meaning that US fans will be tuning in during their afternoon.

This move is a rarity for the sport, but is not completely unheard of.

Khabib's last fight in September 2019 was also held at a preferable time for European countries, when the Russian grappler submitted Dustin Poirier in the third round in Abu Dhabi. 

It seems that UFC are looking to build a major following for Khabib in Europe, as the undefeated 31-year-old continues to grow in popularity following his win over Conor McGregor in 2018.

UFC 254, which will take place on Saturday, October 24, promises to be the fight card of the year, with Khabib stepping into the Octagon for the first time in over a year to take on the dangerous Gaethje, who is fresh off a win against Tony Ferguson back in May.

Ferguson himself may also feature on the bill, as the UFC veteran could be squaring off against Poirier in a fight that would see the winner get right back into title contention.

Further down the card, former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker can return to the title mix in his division when he battles Jared Cannonier. The American has won his last three fights by knockout and poses a serious threat to Whittaker's chances of becoming a two-time titleholder.

The event acts as part of UFC Fight Island 2, after the franchise successfully held a series of fight cards on the private island earlier this summer.

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