UFC 254 Embedded Ep. 3: Khabib And ‘DC’ Reunited!

YouTube / UFC

The latest UFC Embedded episode for UFC 254 is out, and it tracks all the headliners across the Fight Island hotel in Abu Dhabi as they prepare for one of the biggest events of the year. It’s UFC 254 fight week and that mean…

YouTube / UFC

The latest UFC Embedded episode for UFC 254 is out, and it tracks all the headliners across the Fight Island hotel in Abu Dhabi as they prepare for one of the biggest events of the year.

It’s UFC 254 fight week and that means a new episode of UFC Embedded every day leading up to what is looking like the biggest card of the year. The pay-per-view features lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting challenger Justin Gaethje … but for Episode 3 of UFC 254 Embedded we start things off with undercard fighter Tai Tuivasa, and it wouldn’t be a Tuivasa fight card without a bunch of people doing shoeys.

Shoeys, for those that don’t know, is when you take some random person’s stanky worn shoe, have your mate spit in it, and then skull a beer out of it. Just Bogan Things, you know? In this case, Tuivasa teaches the tradition to the Nelk Boys, some YouTube stars we are completely ignorant of, who of course are then forced to drink each others’ shoeys. The price you pay for internet fame!

Then things go into the fight hotel where we get to see Jared Cannonier get temperature gunned before being allowed into the training facilities. Cannonier says he’s not even cutting weight for this fight … the only reason he’s on the treadmill is to keep up his fight cardio.

And then it’s the part you were all waiting for: the beautiful reunion of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Khabib Nurmagomedov. There’s nothing more entertaining than watching “DC” razz Khabib, and after a touching bit of hugging and rough housing, Cormier digs in at Khabib for wearing fancy shoes. Classic Cormier!

“My style is always like pressure,” Khabib says. “Make you tired. Take you down on the ground and maul you. I don’t think Justin can do this.”

Then it’s on to Justin Gaethje signing posters, where his mom reveals he used to spend hours in school practicing his signature “because I planned on signing big checks some day.”

Catch all the rest of the UFC Embedded episodes right here:

And remember, 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.

Best of the C’Mon Now MMA Podcast – 26

June M. Williams

Bloody Elbow Presents ‘The Best of the C’Mon Now MMA Podcast’.  The show is a deep dive with host, Trent Reinsmith, into the bigger news & goings on in MMA, both inside + outside the cage; presented with a critic…

The Best of The C’Mon Now Podcast, C’Mon Now, MMA Podcast, MMA News, Trent Reinsmith

June M. Williams

Bloody Elbow Presents ‘The Best of the C’Mon Now MMA Podcast’.  The show is a deep dive with host, Trent Reinsmith, into the bigger news & goings on in MMA, both inside + outside the cage; presented with a critical, unbiased eye.

Our compilation show is a deep dive with host, Trent Reinsmith, into the bigger news and goings on in MMA, both inside and outside the cage; presented with a critical, unbiased eye.

Here is some detail on what’s going on here. The “regular” ‘C’mon Now MMA Podcast’ is a daily podcast of varying lengths, the concept of the podcast is to look at goings-on in MMA and dig below the surface of that news — it can be found here: cmonnow.substack.com/. This show is a compilation of some of the best topics covered over the past week.

Here is a summary of the topics discussed, during the latest episode of the weekly “Best of” edition of the podcast. We hope you enjoy listening to the show and will continue to support it going forward. This week’s topics include:

  1. Brian Ortega deserved a “Performance of the Night” Bonus at UFC Fight Island 6 and that is another reason the UFC bonus structure needs to be scrapped.
  2. The UFC marketing for UFC 254 calls Khabib Nurmagomedov the “most dominant champion in UFC history.” Really? With two UFC title defenses? C’mon now, the UFC marketing doesn’t always have to have someone or something being the best in human history.
  3. Neil Magny has his hand up, why isn’t he booked to face Khamzat Chimaev?
  4. Why are people questioning Justin Gaethje’s confidence that he can defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov?
  5. Could/should UFC fighters refuse to fight Colby Covington because of his racist remarks? I say, yes.
  6. The hypocrisy of the UFC, cutting a fighter who got jail time while bouncing at a bar, but signing Greg Hardy and (allegedly) bringing Anthony Johnson back to the fold…C’mon now.
  7. C’mon now Ali Abdelaziz – threatening a media member but getting cozy with the UFC COO?
  8. C’mon now…Michael Chiesa does a good job of explaining why it doesn’t make sense for a ranked fighter to face Khamzat Chimaev.
  9. Josh Thomson vs John McCarthy discuss why fighters should or shouldn’t agree to a catch weight fight on the day before the weigh-in. Both make good points.
  10. The UFC bonus system should go away and that money should go to providing the UFC fighters with $16,800 stipend per year per fighter.
  11. Joaquin Buckley’s knockout of Impa Kasanganay is worth exponentially more to the UFC, ESPN and ESPN+ than it is to Buckley. Pay the man a percentage of the free press he drew for the UFC.

If you enjoyed our show, give us a shout out in the comments here on Bloody Elbow, or give us a “like”, share & subscribe over on whichever BE Presents Podcast Channel happens to be your listening platform of choice: SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes & Apple TV, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, TuneIn, OverCast, or Player FM, & NOW AMAZON MUSIC! – While you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to Bloody Elbow Presents; that way you’ll always be the first to get all of BE’s daily MMA offerings. For previous episodes of the show, check out our playlists on all of our BE Presents channels.

Midweek odds: Khabib big favorite over Gaethje, Whittaker-Cannonier even

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Check out the midweek betting odds for Saturday’s UFC 254 event, where lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov is favored over Justin Gaethje in the main event. UFC 254 is going do…

UFC 242: Khabib v Poirier

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Check out the midweek betting odds for Saturday’s UFC 254 event, where lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov is favored over Justin Gaethje in the main event.

UFC 254 is going down this Saturday (October 24th) and will be the promotion’s final event of their most recent stint in Abu Dhabi. The night will be capped off with a lightweight title fight between the undefeated king, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and the challenging interim champion, Justin Gaethje. The co-main event is getting a top-tier middleweight matchup between the former champ, Robert Whittaker, and the #3 ranked, Jared Cannonier. Bloody Elbow is here with the betting odds for these fights as well as the rest of the UFC 254 lineup.

The oddsmakers like the some Khabib over Justin, and do so by a lot. A straight up wager on Nurmagomedov comes at a heavily favored cost of -335. That means a $100 bet on Khabib would win you $29.85 plus your $100 back. Khabib is a perfect 28-0 in his career as nobody has found a way to solve his puzzle. He brings the pressure with a stifling wrestling game with plenty of ground and pound. Nurmagomedov’s takedown threat is so real that it often opens up his striking game — see the overhand right that dropped Conor McGregor. “The Eagle” has been dealing with a lot outside of the Octagon with the passing of his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, but there is no telling how that x-factor will affect his performance, if at all.

As for Gaethje, he finds himself as the biggest betting underdog of his career. “The Highlight’s” straight up moneyline currently sits at a value of +275, so a $100 wager on Justin would win you $275 plus your $100 back. Gaethje has always been a murderer but it was his most recent killing spree that got him here. Tony Ferguson, Donald cerrone, and Edson Barboza are not light work by any stretch of the imagination. Justin comes forward swinging powerful hooks and thudding leg kicks, and he can wrestle too — although it’s usually to keep the fight standing. This is a great clash of styles and Gaethje is rightfully getting more respect than a lot of Khabib’s previous opponents.

UFC 254 has a pick’em fight in its co-main event in the form of Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier. Both men can be found with minus lines next to their name, but Whittaker is the only that can be found with a plus sign. Cannonier is currently tracking around the -115 mark, while Whittaker is ranging anywhere from -115 up to +100. As the odds reflect, this one is tough to gauge. On one hand you have a former champion that is battle tested and proven amongst the elites. On the other hand you have a monster that has whittled down from heavyweight and has been collecting scalps at 185-pounds. A coin-flip sounds about right.

**It should be noted that UFC 254 will have an early main card start time of 2:00 PM ET, with the prelims kicking off at 10:30 AM ET.

Check out the UFC 254 betting odds, courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:


Be sure to check back in with Bloody Elbow to catch the final betting odds on fight day, as the moneylines tend to shift a bit following the weigh-ins. Be sure to subscribe to our Bloody Elbow Presents YouTube channel to stay up to date with all of our podcast content. Happy hunting!

Khabib Nurmagomedov Predicts Submission Win Over Justin Gaethje At UFC 254

KhabibAttempting to unify his lightweight title on Saturday night in Abu Dhabi at UFC 254 opposite interim best, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje – Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov has predicted he’ll score his third consecutive submission win over a “tired” Gaethje to remain unbeaten. Khabib, who attempts to move to a whopping 29-0 as a professional. […]

Khabib

Attempting to unify his lightweight title on Saturday night in Abu Dhabi at UFC 254 opposite interim best, Justin ‘The Highlight’ GaethjeKhabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov has predicted he’ll score his third consecutive submission win over a “tired” Gaethje to remain unbeaten.

Khabib, who attempts to move to a whopping 29-0 as a professional. most recently submitted former interim champion, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier at UFC 242 in September of last year on Yas Island with a third-round rear-naked choke, following an October 2018 neck crank win over ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor in a UFC 229 grudge match.

Tasked with overcoming his consensus toughest challenge in the Octagon to date, Khabib – who makes the walk under the UFC lights for the first time since the recent passing of his father and decorated Sambo coach, Abdulmanap, has predicted he’ll score a finish over Gaethje before the allotted twenty-five minute period has elapsed – a submission win, in fact, which would see him become the first to finish the Arizonian via that method. 

“”I feel I’m going to make him tired and I’m going to finish this guy (Justin Gaethje),” Khabib explained to First Take on ESPN. “This is my opinion. But I’m ready for all rounds. All five-round war. But my goal on this fight, make him tired and choke him out.” (H/T MMA Fighting)

Gaethje, an accomplished collegiate amateur wrestler himself, has yet to utilise his often superior wrestling in his seven-fight Octagon stint so far, but against Khabib – he’ll undoubtedly face the sternest grappling orientated opposition to date. 

In his sole professional defeats, Gaethje eventually succumbed to strikes and punishment against the above mentioned Poirier, and former lightweight titleholder, Eddie Alvarez, respectively – scoring knockout wins of his own opposite the likes of Michael Johnson, Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone, and Tony Ferguson in May.

For Khabib – the Dagestani grappling maestro has scored ten victories via submission throughout his twelve-year career, only recently displaying his offensive submission acumen opposite common-foe, Johnson, whom he finished with a taught kimura, as well as his above-mentioned choke wins over McGregor and Poirier.  

GSP Is ‘Only Fight In UFC’ That Excites Khabib

Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Once Khabib beats Justin Gaethje, he’s made it clear that no opponent in the UFC interests him except currently retired former champ Georges St-Pierre. As excited as people are to see Khabi…

Weigh-in ahead of UFC Fight Night 163 in Moscow

Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Once Khabib beats Justin Gaethje, he’s made it clear that no opponent in the UFC interests him except currently retired former champ Georges St-Pierre.

As excited as people are to see Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje, and as much of a chance Gaethje has to actually win, everyone continues to wonder what Khabib will do next after smeshing Justin.

It’s by no means a sure thing, but knowing what’s in Nurmagomedov’s mind is still something we can speculate on. And up until now, speculation is all we had. Khabib has kept future plans on tight lockdown, always saying it’s Gaethje at UFC 254 on October 24th he’s focused on.

But on ESPN’s First Take, Khabib once again called for a fight against GOAT contender and former UFC welterweight / middleweight champ Georges St-Pierre.

“I really become excited when I think about Georges St-Pierre,” Khabib said when asked what opponent might excite him. “I don’t know if he wants to fight with me or not? Can he make weight, 155 or not?”

“But this fight makes me excited, honestly. And I think me versus Georges is going to be very very big fight. Very big fight. Like big fights for fans, big fight for pay-per-view. Big fight for analytics, for everybody. For fighters, you know … this is the only fight in the UFC – after Gaethje – that makes me very excited.”

Khabib has been angling for a fight with Georges St-Pierre for a long time, and the feeling is mutual. Unfortunately, the UFC was so disinterested in the idea that GSP couldn’t even get a callback on the idea, leading to him officially retiring. But he’s stayed in suspiciously good shape since that retirement, and is looking a stone’s throw away from being able to hit 155 pounds with a weight cut. And let’s also remember that Khabib forced the UFC to include a good faith negotiation clause for a GSP fight into his new contract.

But what about a rematch with Conor McGregor? Just in case you haven’t been following Khabib news for the last two years let us update you: Khabib hates McGregor, and not in the “I want to punch you in the face,” way but the “Put your hand in s**t, your hand smells like s**t,” way. Nurmagomedov has used every variation of the word “No” and “Never” yet people keep asking him. They asked him if he’d face the winner of McGregor vs. Poirier in this same First Take interview and here’s what he said.

“You know about both of them, I finished both of them,” Khabib said. “And finished in dominant position, dominant performance. I’m not interested in either of these guys because I need new blood, new energy. Justin Gaethje gives me new maturation. He is real deal. Right now he is interim champ, he is very tough guy. If I think about both Dustin and Conor, they don’t give me good energy, they don’t give me maturation.

“Fight? For what? For my legacy?” Khabib concluded. “I always put these guys on my desk. I already beat them. Everything finished with these guys. I need new someone.”

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.

Diggin’ Deep on UFC 254: Early prelims preview

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Gorge yourself with the bare essentials for the early morning prelims of UFC 254 on Fight Pass, featuring an exciting catchweight between Casey Kenney and Nathaniel Wood. Well this feels a bit weird…. I re…

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Gorge yourself with the bare essentials for the early morning prelims of UFC 254 on Fight Pass, featuring an exciting catchweight between Casey Kenney and Nathaniel Wood.

Well this feels a bit weird…. I realize the format of three differing blocks for a UFC fight card was the norm for several years, but the convenience of staying on ESPN+ for the entirety of a card has been nice. Now, the early prelims on Fight Pass are returning for one of the most anticipated events of the year. I suppose it makes sense as there has never been less of a reason to have Fight Pass at this point. Nonetheless, they are smart to put one of the favorites for FOTN as the featured early prelim as I’d probably say you can stay in bed otherwise.

  • It will have been just three weeks since Casey Kenney last competed when he returns to action. One can’t blame him for wanting to maintain his momentum as he delivered a shellacking to Heili Alateng, bruising his body with kicks to highlight the blistering pace he’s known to perform at. However, that isn’t the main thing Kenney is known for. While he isn’t considered to be a top notch wrestler or grappler, Kenney seems to thrive on the mat due to his slipperiness and expert scrambling. Right when someone thinks they have them where they want Kenney, he finds a way to gain the advantage. He gets a clear step up in Nathaniel Wood, one of the more entertaining prospects at bantamweight… if he can be called a prospect after five UFC contests. Though Wood has had a tendency of starting slow, he got off to a solid start in his latest showing, eventually pushing a pace that would make Kenney proud. Of course, Wood picked up each of his first three UFC victories via submission on the mat, picking up a reputation as a grappler first, which isn’t necessarily the case as Wood possesses plenty of KO’s on his resume. In fact, Wood’s resume is littered with finishes of all types… something Kenney is short on. Regardless of who one picks to win this, confidence should be in short supply. I’ve wavered between picking both. However, I’m settling on Kenney due to his durability and innate ability to find a way to win. That’s an intangible that can’t be taught. Kenney via decision
  • It’s still hard to know what to make of Liana Jojua. No one denies the native of Georgia is a skilled grappler, her armbar submission of Diana Belbita from off her back a brilliant demonstration of what she is capable of. However, she’s also on the smaller side for flyweight and may be too comfortable working off her back for her own good, regularly giving up position for the opportunity at a submission. Plus, her striking is still very much a work in progress. Many of those concerns could be voiced about Miranda Maverick with subtle differences. Maverick is more physical and more focused on maintaining control than looking for the finish. Not that Maverick never secures any submissions, but she makes sure she has her opponent wrapped up first. While Maverick isn’t a savant on the feet either, she’s more consistent and technical than Jojua. That should be enough to make the difference. Maverick via decision
  • There are a lot of people putting heavy stock in Joel Alvarez’s win over Joe Duffy. After all, Duffy once beat Conor McGregor, meaning through some weird MMA math, Alvarez has a win over McGregor! Of course, everyone knows MMA math is a load of crap and Duffy appeared to be a diminished version of himself. That hardly means Alvarez sucks, but let’s not put the cart before the horse. The point is. Alvarez is a gifted grappler with a lanky frame for lightweight. His striking is still in development, leg kicks being his most consistent form of attack. However, for all his grappling, Alvarez doesn’t have the takedown abilities to consistently find success. That’s not a major problem for Alexcander Yakovlev, a longtime if oft forgotten member of the UFC roster. One of the few lightweights on the roster with a frame as tall as Alvarez’s, Yakovlev is tough as nails, competent on the feet, and a capable wrestler. Yakovlev hasn’t been outmuscled at 155 and that’s been the only way his opponents have submitted him on the mat. Alvarez isn’t likely to win a contest of mat control and that’s what Yakovlev will look to turn it into. Yakovlev via decision