in ,

Why is the latest UFC 254 event starting earlier than the regular time slot?

Justin Gaethje vs Khabib Nurmagomedov is the main event at an early UFC 254

UFC 254 will start early when compared to other shows from the promotion

UFC 254 features a mega main event which sees the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov take on Justin Gaethje with the Lightweight title on the line.

This is a fight that many believe could be one of the best of the year. Khabib is undefeated in his MMA career with 28 wins and no losses. Gaethje, for his part, has only lost twice in his career and is coming off an incredible performance against Tony Ferguson.

Justin Gaethje defeated Tony Ferguson
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – MAY 09: Tony Ferguson (R) of the United States kicks Justin Gaethje (L) of the United States in their Interim lightweight title fight during UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 09, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

The pair can wrestle too and this should be Khabib’s toughest test since coming to the UFC. The location for the event is Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, but the card has an early start time.

This isn’t the first fight to be held in Abu Dhabi and most of the clashes have taken place at the normal 7 PM PT/10 PM ET slot.

However, this event has an earlier time and Dana White explained why a while back.

Why does UFC 254 start early?

The simple answer to this is Khabib. The Russian is one of the biggest names in the UFC and has a huge following in the Arab countries.

The main card for the event starts at 10 PM local time, which is far from the normal start time of 6 AM or 5 AM in certain cases.

Kelvin Gastelum turned up the heat ahead of his UFC fight
Kelvin Gastelum trains at UFC Fight Island (Twitter)

White, the UFC president, had confirmed that UFC 254 would be time-friend for European fans. The fight would be at around 7PM for UK fans, which is a boost considering the crazy times European supporters have to wake up at to see the fights.

This isn’t the first time the UFC have done this for Khabib. The Russian won the title from Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 and that also had a friendly time for the European and Middle East fans.

Herb Dean is considered as the best MMA and UFC referee
Referee Herb Dean separates Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia from Conor McGregor of Ireland after McGregor tapped out in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Khabib is one of the biggest names in the UFC and this is an example of the pull he has. The UFC shifting its time slot for Khabib is something, and it will be interesting to see how the fight goes.

More UFC news

Follow our dedicated UFC page for instant UFC news and updates

Written by Saiyed Adeem Karim

Ditching a corporate job to follow a dream isn't easy, but when football comes calling, who can say no? Been following the beautiful game since 1998. Liverpool addict, F1 fanatic!

Amanda Nunes and Nina Ansaroff with their daughter Raegan Ann Nunes

(Photos) Amanda Nunes and Nina Ansaroff share incredible photo shoot with daughter Raegan Ann Nunes

Laura Sanko had a decent amateur record too and is currently at Fight Island

Laura Sanko shares her thoughts on Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje ahead of UFC 254