The UFC stages their second event back in Las Vegas as UFC 250 is slated to go off on Saturday night at their APEX practice facility. This card was supposed to take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but with COVID-19 still causing restrictions in sports (and the world at large), it’ll take place in the UFC’s home city, “Sin City”.
- Early Prelims: 7:00 PM ET (UFC Fight Pass, ESPN, ESPN+)
- Prelims: 9:00 PM ET (ESPN, ESPN+)
- Main Card: 11:00 PM ET (ESPN+, PPV)
The main event is a title fight as two-division champion Amanda Nunes will defend the women’s featherweight title (Nunes also holds the bantamweight title) against Felicia Spencer. The men’s bantamweight division will get shaken up as four top-10 fighters battle it out. Former champion Cody Garbrandt takes on Raphael Assuncao, while Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen clash.
You can watch the early prelims starting at 7:00 PM ET on UFC Fight Pass, ESPN and ESPN+. The prelims can be seen on ESPN and ESPN+ at 9:00 PM ET, while the main card starts at 11:00 PM ET on ESPN+.
All MMA betting odds courtesy of Bovada.
Amanda Nunes (-650) vs Felicia Spencer (+400) – Women’s Featherweight
Nunes (19-4) defended the bantamweight strap against Germaine de Randamie (coincidentally, the first featherweight champion for the women) in December, winning by unanimous decision. Nunes dominated that fight, and surprisingly, landed eight takedowns. The two-division champ is known for her 13 knockout wins, but the Brazilian “Lioness” was more than willing to take de Randamie to the mat. Spencer (8-1) is a strong grappler, but she scored a first round TKO over Zarah Fairn Dos Santos in February.
Spencer, from Canada but fighting out of Florida, suffered her lone loss against Cris Cyborg in July 2019, when she took a lot of punishment. However, she fought gamely and that will come in handy against Nunes, who will probably look to keep the fighting standing. Nunes stood toe-to-toe with Cyborg and knocked her out, and has scored impressive wins over the likes of former champoins Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Holly Holm and a pair of wins over current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. A win for Spencer would be a massive sports betting upset, arguably the biggest in the history of women’s MMA.
Raphael Assuncao (+120) vs. Cody Garbrandt (-150) – Bantamweight
This is a tough spot for Garbrandt (11-3), who had the 135-pound title for a year after beating Dominick Cruz in December 2016. He lost it a year later to T.J. Dillashaw, then lost a rematch against Dillashaw in August 2018. Those losses might be understandable in the shadow of Dillashaw’s suspension for EPO, a performance-enhancing drug. However, Garbrandt was knocked out inside of a round by Pedro Munhoz in March of last year.
Assuncao (27-7) has lost two in a row, falling to Cory Sandhagen via unanimous decision in August 2019, and the Brazilian also needs a win to stay in the bantamweight conversation. Assuncao is an accomplished grappler with 10 submission wins, and he is good at creating distance with his stand-up game. Meanwhile, Garbrandt tries to be patient, but always ends up swinging for the fences. After three straight knockout losses, it might be time for a change in MMA strategy for the Ohio native.
Aljamain Sterling (-120) vs. Cory Sandhagen (-110) – Bantamweight
The bantamweight title is in flux after champion Henry Cejudo retired (whether or not it is a negotiation ploy for a new contract remains to be seen). The belt is vacant, and UFC president Dana White has stated that Petr Yan will face former featherweight king Jose Aldo for the title. This means the world to the New York-born Sterling (18-3) and Sandhagen (12-1), who are ranked second and fourth in the UFC bantamweight rankings, respectively. The winner of this match likely faces the winner of Yan/Aldo for the belt later in 2020.
(A quick nod to #1 contender Marlon Moraes, who was passed over for Aldo, whom Moraes defeated in December, but Aldo’s legacy got him the shot. Also, Aldo was supposed to face Cejudo for the belt at UFC 250 when it was originally scheduled for Brazil)
Sterling has won four straight after a unanimous decision over Munhoz in June 2019, while Sandhagen won via the same method over Assuncao in August. Sandhagen, from Colorado, is the better stand-up fighter, while Sterling is a wrestler with a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Both fighters can also handle themselves where the other fighter is the strongest. This is a decent bet for Fight Of The Night on Saturday’s UFC 250 card.