UFC 254 is a huge success for promotion, except for the metrics from White, MMA Junkie.
“They come together every time,” White said at a press conference held on Wednesday. “This is not one of these quarrels where both of them need to shout at each other and do all this. People know who these two people are. They know what both of them are capable of, and that’s why this fight is so big.
No dolls have been thrown from the bus windows. No family members were insulted. There was also no banquet at Wednesday’s beach news conference.
Instead, the promotion of two of the world’s best lightweight fighting inside the cage seems to be enough for their respective fan bases and a wider audience around the world.
Without the hatred that accompanies fighting a bitter opponent, both Narmmagomedov (28–0 MMA, 12–0 UFC) and Gaithaje (22–2 MMA, 5–2 UFC) still have motivational factors. For challenger and current interim UFC lightweight champion Gaithaje, he is inspired by his closest supporters and comes from a city of around 9,500 people.
“I never thought that a child from Safford, Arizona, would have this opportunity, especially at Abu Dhabi halfway around the world,” Gathaje said. “Look how beautiful this place is.” I have never been to such a place before. I am not even going to live here. … so yes, it’s too big for me. It’s too big for my family, too big for my country, too big for the small town, Arizona. I am proud of him. ”
The 32-year-old Nurmagomedov is on the verge of adding another name to his laundry list of career victories. Frequently asked about his long-term plans, Nurmagomedov has often stated that he would like to go 30–0 before retiring. A win over Gethje pushed them to the halfway mark of that goal.
“They made a lot of opponents, a lot of great people – and they eliminated all of them,” Nurmagomedov said. “He was a great champion in (another) organization before the UFC. Right now, he is an interim winner. He defeated Tony Ferguson. I think a person like Justin Gaithje has defeated my legacy.
Already an all-time combat sports legend for many, Nurmagomedov compared boxing greats Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. However, more story has yet to be written.
“Mike Tyson is of approximately the same level, but personality (-he), Muhammad Ali (a) is different,” Nurmagomedov said. “For me to be like this, it’s a very difficult question. When I (grew up), I looked at these people, like, ‘These people are the greatest.’ I don’t know if I can ever be close to these people.
“I didn’t have that goal. I just want to win my fights (all). We will see in the future because I do not have everything yet, which I have. ”
UFC 254 took place on Saturday at the Flash Forum on Yes Island. Stream the main card on pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN2 / ESPN +.