UFC 249 Developments
- October 30, 2015: Khabib suffered a rib injury two months before their scheduled fight and was forced to pull out.
- April 5, 2016: Ferguson pulls out of the fight just 11 days prior to fight night with a lung issue.
- March 3, 2017: Khabib is hospitalized just one day before the fight and is pulled from the card.
- April 1, 2018: April Fools! Tony trips on a cable while at a studio set as he was performing his media obligations for the fight. You can’t make this stuff up.
- April 1, 2020: CORONAVIRUS! [Cardi B voice]. Khabib flies back to Russia as the world is just beginning to deal with challenges caused by COVID-19. Travel bans block Khabib from returning to the U.S. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
It’s finally happening! A real sport is holding a real event in the coronavirus era! Uncle Dana and the UFC have put together a killer card for May 9th. Two titles are on the line, including the UFC Lightweight Interim title and the UFC Bantamweight title.
This card doesn’t end there. This is a deep one. As a matter of fact, I’m going to make the argument that outside the main event being for an interim title, this is the most stacked card in UFC history.
UFC 249: Ferguson vs Gaethje
Saturday, May 9th – 10:00 PM ET
VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL
Network: ESPN+ PPV
Keep reading for a preview of what’s on top at UFC 249. My top picks are in bold.
UFC 249 Main Card
Tony Ferguson (-190) vs. Justin Gathje (+155)
Henry Cejudo (-240) vs. Dominick Cruz (+190)
Francis Ngannou (-300) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+220)
Jeremy Stephens (+190) vs. Calvin Kattar (-240)
Greg Hardy (-180) vs. Yorgan de Castro (+150)
El Cucuy, who was unjustly stripped of his lightweight title after suffering a freak accident on April 1, 2018, has a shot at earning it back on Saturday, May 9th.
Ferguson, who was training to fight Khabib, made it a point to continue his training camp and make weight on April 17 for a fight that was already canceled. El Cucuy — which means Boogeyman — cut 24 pounds in five days because he wanted to.
Justin Gaethje is no slouch. The American brawler has gone to war with some of the best lightweights in the world. He has more than a puncher’s chance at beating Ferguson, but we all know he’s going in there to knock him out.
Henry Cejudo has been calling out anyone with a name for a few months now, finally caught a big game to tangle with him. Cejudo will put up his Bantamweight title for grabs against former champion Dominick Cruz.
Cruz, who is 18-1-0 has only lost to Cody Garbrandt. Frankly put, Cody styled on Cruz.
Cejudo is a great fighter. Undoubtedly a true champ that defended his title over a juiced TJ Dillashaw that was sent to kill the bantamweight division. I say that to say this: Cejudo will lose his championship belt on Saturday.
The Dominator returns.
UFC 249 Prelims
Anthony Pettis (-145) vs. Donald Cerrone (+115)
Aleksei Oleinik (+245) vs. Fabricio Werdum (-325)
Carla Esparza (-165) vs. Michelle Waterson (+135)
Uriah Hall (-105) vs. Ronaldo Souza (-125)
Cowboy vs. Pettis on a prelim in 2020? Werdum quietly returning against a real threat in Aleksi Oleinik. This card is bonkers.
UFC 249 Early Prelims
Vicente Luque (-280) vs. Niko Price (+210)
Bryce Mitchell (-170) vs. Charles Rosa (+140)
Ryan Spann (-400) vs. Sam Alvey (+300)
All three early prelim fights have name recognition which is a first for me. Vicente Luque is the 13th best welterweight in the world.
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