UFC 249 Preview
In the betting world, UFC fights have the potential to be the most significant events of the year. However, very few UFC events have quality throughout the entire card that UFC 249 possesses with two title fights and several grudge matches. Experts believe that UFC 249 could be the best sporting event of the year despite several fighters pulling out over safety concerns. This event contains the must-see return of Dominick Cruz who returns after a three-year hiatus and what a story it would be if he could dethrone Henry Cejudo on his return.
UFC 249 Date: May 9th, 2020 Venue: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Florida. Number of Fights: 12 (2 Championship bouts) Main Event: Tony Ferguson Vs Justin Gaethje
Be sure to check out our betting tips for the event down below.
Tony Ferguson Vs Justin Gaethje
The main event of the evening is Tony Ferguson taking on Justin Gaethje for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship as Ferguson, who never lost the title but was stripped of it due to injury, takes on Gaethje. Gaethje is in his first UFC title match but hasn’t lost any of his six title matches in other companies. Ferguson is the clear favourite and could win this fight in many ways, his ground game is as strong as they come and his chokeholds are ridiculous while his opponent will likely try and stay standing and keep this fight away from the ground. If he can do that, he has a chance, but if El Cucuy has the opportunity to lock in a choke, the highlight may have no choice but to tap for the first time in his career.
Henry Cejudo Vs Dominick Cruz
Henry Cejudo makes the first defence of his Bantamweight title reign against Dominick Cruz. His opponent was originally Jose Aldo, but Cruz makes his return since his hiatus starting back in 2016 due to plantar fascia tendinitis. This bout is extremely interesting because if Cruz has had a good training camp, he has more than enough in the tank to beat any opponent at Bantamweight level. However, here he comes up against Henry Cejudo who has looked incredible since his defeat to Joseph Benavidez in the finals of the Tournament of Champions. This one could be tough to call, but Cruz’s time out of the cage could be the difference.
Francis Ngannou Vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Francis Ngannou looks as good as ever going into UFC 249. Still, he might need to be if he is to beat Jairzinho Rozenstruik who continued his unbeaten run by defeating Alistair Overeem by KO with just 4 seconds to go despite being behind on every scorecard. However, Rozenstruik had a gameplan to tire out Overeem and utilise his youth and stamina against the veteran, and it worked. He’ll have a similar gameplan here against the fast-paced Ngannou, but we think the Predator will put an end to Jairzinho’s undefeated streak.
Jeremy Stephens Vs Calvin Kattar
Stephens is on somewhat of a bad run in the UFC and is without a win in his last four fights and is 8-10-1 in his previous 19 fights which means there will never be a better time for Calvin Kattar to make a name for himself especially after losing his last headline bout in Moscow. Both of these fighters need the win here which makes it a massive fight if Kattar wins how longer will Stephens remain in the UFC and if Stephens wins, could that be the biggest setback of all for the Boston Finisher?
Greg Hardy Vs Yorgan De Castro
Yorgan De Castro reminds us a bit of Mark Hunt and not just because he’s got a bit of timber behind him. The Heavyweight has devastating knock out power, but here he comes up against a former NFL defensive end in Greg Hardy. We’re surprised this fight made the main card ahead of Cerrone Vs Pettis and Oleinik Vs Werdum, but this has the potential to be the fight of the night if both fighters perform as well as they can. The bookies’ favour Hardy but we can see De Castro coming out on top here despite Hardy putting in an excellent performance last time out against Alexander Volkov.
Donald Cerrone Vs Anthony Pettis
This card is full of fantastic big-name matchups and Cowboy Vs Showtime is one of them. Especially with the rumours that this fight could be the Cowboys last. Pettis made history in his last win and became the only man to KO Stephen Thompson in his career but has lost both his fights since. This is a rematch from their 2013 bout where Pettis “Kicked the Liver” out of Cowboys body, however, as Cowboy has lost his last three fights, Pettis is the clear favourite here, and we think he’ll win by KO in the second round.
Aleksei Oleinik Vs Fabricio Werdum
Both these fighters can claim they are icons of the Mixed Martial Arts world. Oleinik has had 72 MMA fights and won 58 of them, 46 by submission, while his opponent has never lost a match by submission but is in his first fight since 2018. The Russian fighter has lost two of his last three fights in the first round, including a 12-second defeat against Walt Harris, who lost against Werdum in Harris’ last non-DQ defeat back in 2017. So, if Werdum is near his best, he should come out victorious here.
Carla Esparza Vs Michelle Waterson
Michelle Waterson comes into this fight on the back of a disappointing loss against Joanna Jedrzejczyk but losing to the Champ isn’t something to dwell on. Waterson comes up against an opponent who is difficult to finish but is often easier to beat via decision, Esparza’s two KO defeats have come against Jedrzejczyk and Tatiana Suarez who she pushed against late on as she was losing via decision and got caught. Esparza may struggle to handle Waterson’s submission game, and that’s where you could find value here.
Uriah Hall Vs Ronaldo Souza
These are two competitors that have struggled in recent years due to their age, but both are still more than capable of putting on a good show. Hall has had a very complicated career with visa issues, fill-ins and more continually affecting his bouts. Souza, on the other hand, has had to change up his style throughout his career he has been a submission specialist but has focused on more on KO victories in recent years. Both men have struggled to finish fights, and 10 of their combined 17 losses have been via decision.
Early Preliminary Card
Vicente Luque Vs Niko Price
Very rarely does someone come into the UFC with a 7-5-1 record and make the impact that Vicente Luque has made. With three fight of the night performances in 2019, Luque has impressed fans worldwide and looks to further his reputation by defeating Niko Price in their rematch from their 2017 bout which Luque won via Submission in the 2nd. This was Price’s first defeat, and ‘the Hybrid’ has been on a somewhat downward trend since.
Charles Rosa Vs Bryce Mitchell
Due to an unfortunate neck injury, Charles Rosa fights are quite sporadic. However, they are definitely worth the wait with the fighter winning fight of the night three times in his last six bouts and also the performance of the night in his return win against Manny Bermudez in August 2019. Rosa looked sharp in his previous bout, but against the 12-0-0 Bryce Mitchell may have bitten off more than he can chew. Mitchell’s two performances in the UFC have been incredibly impressive, and we look forward to seeing what he is capable of against Charles Rosa.
Ryan Spann Vs Sam Alvey
This is an exciting bout purely because both fighters have a lot more to lose than they have to win. Sam Alvey has been quoted in saying: “If I lose, there is no way UFC keeps me around.” which could mean that we see a different ‘Smilin’ to what we’ve seen since his weight change to Light Heavyweight. Meanwhile, after a dreadful spell between May 2015 and July 2017, Ryan Spann has turned his career around and is currently on a 7-win streak from three fights in the Legacy Fighting Alliance, three in the UFC and one from Dana White’s contender series.