Since Dana Whyte formed the UFC, there is no doubt that its blend of martial arts, wrestling and boxing has provided us with some of the most spectacular combat sports action over the years. This coming weekend we have an exciting selection of bouts coming up as a number of the top stars and emerging talents in the UFC lock horns at UFC 249.
In what is an action-packed night of action, there are a total of 12 bouts scheduled to take place, although the much-vaunted bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was cancelled, with Ferguson now down to face unbeaten Justin Gaethje in what looks like being the fight of the night. Other notable matches include Charles Rosa taking on Bryce Mitchell, Henry Cejudo facing Dominick Cruz and a thumping heavyweight battle between big-hitters Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
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Top Fights at UFC 249
Tony Ferguson (4/7) v (6/4) Justin Gaethje (Lightweight)
Having won all of his last 12 bouts, earning stoppages in all but three of those, Tony Ferguson is rated by many as pound-for-pound one of the very best MMA fighters in the UFC. His opponent on Saturday night will be the unbeaten Justin Gaethje who has impressed in his six victories from six contests so far.
With both fighter’s explosive and each with outstanding records, there is no doubt that this is the fight that has most UFC fans excited for the coming weekend. Gaethje, probably due to a lack of experience, starts as the outsider here and in truth, it is hard to see him having the knowhow to defeat Ferguson, but one thing seems certain and that is this fight should be short and spectacular.
Henry Cejudo (4/9) v (15/8) Dominick Cruz (Bantamweight)
Another fight that was rearranged after Cejudo’s original opponent, Jose Aldo was unable to participate, Henry Cejudo’s quest to become, as he claims, ‘the greatest combat sports athlete of all time’ sees him lock horns with the veteran Dominik Cruz in the second of the night’s massive clashes.
Cruz is a two-time winner of the Bantamweight belt himself, will attempt to wrest that title from a fighter many claim is the best in the UFC at the present moment. Cruz starts as the second favourite after a long spell of inactivity through injury, but he has shocked several top champions in the past and it would not be a massive shock if he did the same again on Saturday.
Francis Ngannou (4/11) v (9/4) Jairzinho Rozenstruik (Heavyweight)
Blink and you could miss this heavyweight clash between two of the biggest hitters and most destructive fighters in the powerhouse division. Scheduled to go just three rounds, it would be a surprise if we made it that far as Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruijk lock horns.
Both these fighters were top contenders behind Daniel Cormier a few years back and after their March bout was put back to UFC 249, they have had an extra couple of months to stew over the matchup. Having despatched his last three opponents with KO wins in just 142 seconds combined, Ngannou is the bookies odds on favourite. Rozenstruijk is young and powerful and is unbeaten thus far, but this is a big step up in class for him.
Jeremy Stephens (2/1) v (2/5) Calvin Kattar (Featherweight)
Although Jeremy Stephens best years may be behind him nowadays, his skills make him a real acid test for up and coming fighters to see if they have the ability to make a mark in the featherweight division and that is precisely what Calvin Kattar will be looking to do when the two battle it out on Saturday evening.
Having lost last time out in Russia to Zabit Magomedsharipov by a unanimous decision, he will want to get his career back on track here. Stephens will be doing his best in order to further his career where he has proven to be a real tough match for anyone inside the top 20. This should be a close one but Kattar should take the win.
Greg Hardy (1/2) v (17/10) Yorgan De Castro (Heavyweight)
Both of the heavyweights contending in this battle have plenty to prove in what should be an explosive battle between two heavy handed fighters. Of the two De Castro has the better record, being 6-0 in his career thus far, but Hardy is rated the slightly better fighter of the two and certainly has more experience and has fought better quality opponents.
Hardy is the bookmakers favourite to land the win here, but if De Castro were to land an upset win, then that would certainly push him into genuine contention at the top of the rankings in the heavyweight division.
Other UFC 249 Bouts
- Donald Cerrone (5/4) v (4/6) Anthony Pettis (Lightweight)
- Aleksei Oleinik (5/2) v (3/10) Fabricio Werdum (Heavyweight)
- Carla Esparza (4/6) v (5/4) Michelle Waterson (Strawweight)
- Ronald Souza (4/5) v (Evens) Uriah Hall (Middleweight)
- Vicente Luque (4/11) v (9/4) Niko Prize (Welterweight)
- Bryce Mitchell (5/8) v (13/10) Charles Rosa (Featherweight)
- Ryan Spann (1/4) v (3/1) Sam Alvey (Light Heavyweight)
Tune in on Saturday evening for all the action from UFC 249 and remember you can enjoy the best of the betting on the event with bet365 Sport.
*All odds shown were correct as of 10.30am on Wednesday 6th May 2020 with bet365 Sport.