UFC 249 was originally planned for April 18th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. However, like all sports (and walks of life), the MMA event was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will now be held on May 9th at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, with no fans in attendance. This also means changes in the UFC 249 fight card, as well as the UFC 249 odds.
- Early Prelims: 6:30 PM ET (UFC Fight Pass)
- Prelims: 8:00 PM ET (ESPN)
- Main Card: 10:00 PM ET (PPV)
This actually kicks off a run of four UFC events that are scheduled for the month of May; the next two will be ESPN events that will be held at the same venue in Jacksonville, while Fight Night 175 is yet to be determined. But there might be some changes to those events, as there were for UFC 249.
This pay-per-view (it is still a PPV event) was due to be headlined by a massive lightweight title showdown between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former interim champion Tony Ferguson, who also won The Ultimate Fighter 13. These two have been slated to fight five times now. The first four fights were cancelled due to injuries on either side, and this has been cancelled as well as Nurmagomedov cannot leave his native Dagestan due to travel restrictions.
However, we do still get Ferguson in another interim title bout, and here are the UFC 249 odds, as well as two other fights to watch and wager on during this UFC 249 fight card.
All UFC 249 betting odds from Bodog.
Tony Ferguson (-175) vs. Justin Gaethje (+145) – Lightweight
Ferguson (25-3) does have injury problems that keep him from competing as much as he would like to. He hasn’t fought more than once in a year since 2016. However, “El Cucuy” has won 12 fights in a row and there doesn’t seem to be a recipe for beating Ferguson, who has 12 knockout wins with eight submission victories in his career.
He’ll meet a beast in Gaethje (21-2), who has won three in a row and has 18 knockout wins to his name. “The Highlight” has proven that he will stand and trade blows with anyone, and hoping for the best. That is a dangerous game against Ferguson, who is the UFC 249 odds favorite in what should be an exceptional and violent main-event fight.
Henry Cejudo (-230) vs. Dominick Cruz (+180) – Bantamweight
Cejudo (15-2) was supposed to defend his bantamweight belt against former featherweight king Jose Aldo at UFC 250 on May 9th in Brazil. However, that event was obviously cancelled due to travel restrictions, so Cejudo, who is also the former flyweight champion as he relinquished that title to focus on 135 pounds. He’ll meet Cruz (22-2), the former two-time bantamweight champion who hasn’t fought since losing the belt to Cody Garbrandt in December 2016.
Since then, “The Dominator” has been injured (as he has been so often in his career), but Cejudo is also coming off an injury to his shoulder. Cejudo won the gold medal for the United States in freestyle wrestling at the 2008 Olympics, and that sets up a lot of what he does; he has also shown he has knockout power with eight KO wins. However, prime Cruz was a fantastic defensive wrestler who stuffed takedowns regularly. This is a very interesting championship fight for this UFC 249 fight card.
Donald Cerrone (+120) vs. Anthony Pettis (-150) – Welterweight
First of all, you will find this fight on the preliminary UFC 249 fight card, which is being aired on ESPN. This is a main-card fight, even though Cerrone has lost three straight fights to two for Pettis. Cerrone (36-14, 1 NC) is a notoriously slow starter in his career, but it seems to be getting worse for “Cowboy” as he lost to Conor McGregor in 40 seconds in his last fight. Pettis (22-10), a former lightweight champion, isn’t the same fighter he was, either.
But “Showtime” can still put on exciting fights and he should look to end this fight early as Cerrone just can’t fix this problem of his with slow starts. These two (who have both lost to Ferguson via TKO in the last two years) met back in January 2013, and Pettis won in the first round with a kick to the body. Can Cerrone find another gear earlier in the fight? We’ll see on Saturday night in Jacksonville.