UFC 249 is upon us and aren’t we ready for it. In a card that is beyond stacked we have two title fights to look forward to as well as multiple top calibre bouts spread out through the main card and undercard. While the betting prospects aren’t necessarily standouts there are still plenty of betting options as we delve into a few of the fights below.
UFC 249 Betting Picks
Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje
What a fight this is. This fight could break the record for most Joe Rogan screams in a single match as both men will march forward and trade. Gaethje has a distinct game plan of trying to get Tony out of there as quickly as he can and he may just do it. Ferguson has an incredibly well-rounded game, being able to mix in his punches and kicks with submissions flawlessly. He has one big weakness in his striking and it is the one that I think may cost him against Gaethje. Because of his unorthodox style Ferguson usually leaves his chin up and exposed when he throws a straight cross and also when he mixes in his unorthodox spinning elbows. You can guarantee Gaethje will try to pressure Ferguson to fight on the backfoot and I wouldn’t be surprised if he catches him which ends in a Gathje v Barboza style KO as Ferguson backs up from a combination with his chin up. You can never rule out Ferguson and I certainly won’t as he hasn’t lost since 2013 for a reason and if he can survive the first few rounds, Gaethje will fade and he will not. Part of me hopes I am wrong as I like all MMA fans want to see Khabib v Tony but this is a dangerous fight for Ferguson who is known to get clipped and I don’t think when he gets dropped this time he will be getting back up. Nevertheless this is a fight that you can not miss.
Pick: Justin Gathje to win (+150 at DraftKings)
Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz
The self-proclaimed Triple C will look to add another scalp onto his UFC resume when he faces an all-time legend in Dominick Cruz. Whether or not you believe in ring rust, Cruz is not getting younger and has been out of the Octagon for some time now. In saying that I don’t see Cejudo being able to march forward and take him out with ease. It would take a brave man to back against Cejudo, however, Cruz’ evasive style as well as his cardio leads me to believe this fight will go all five rounds. Cejudo will need to mix in his wrestling in order to win yet Cruz is not an easy man to hit and he is more than a punchers chance of reclaiming his belt. It is unlikely Cruz has the power to knock out Cejudo but is a real chance of getting the win via decision. This won’t be the most exciting back and forth war but it will be a technical masterclass and one that every hardcore MMA fan should be on the edge of their seat for.
Pick: Fight to go distance (-177 at DraftKings)
Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar
These two men you can count on to show up and put on a great display every time they step into the Octagon. Kattar is getting better every time he fights and already has the scalp of Ricardo Lamas on his record. Jeremy Stephens is now a veteran of the fight game and while he isn’t an elite level fighter, he will always give a good account for himself and can never be ruled out. One thing can be said confidently is that this will be a stand up war. Kattar has no interest in taking this to the ground or staying on the ground if the fight is ever there. He has never attempted a single submission in his UFC career and his opponent Stephens has only taken his opponent down once in his last 10 fights. This is a real contender for fight of the night and with both men having a chin I see this one lasting the distance. As the more polished striker I am going with Kattar to win a close decision. Do not sleep on this fight!
Pick: Calvin Kattar to win by decision (+110 at DraftKings)
The undercard has many potential betting propositions but I have settled on a multi below which are all fights on the early prelims. Michelle Waterson looks a solid chance to win as the underdog but it relies solely on how effective she will be on stuffing multiple takedowns. Jacare Souza also looks a sound bet to get the finish but Hall somehow manages to find a killer blow out of nowhere when he is getting dominated so I’m not game to back Jacare’s chin to hold if that strike comes.
Ryan Spann to beat Sam Alvey (-420)
Bryce Mitchell to beat Charles Rosa (-162)
Vicente Luque to beat Niko Price (-265)
Combined Odds: +177 at DraftKings
Ryan Spann is just better than Sam Alvey in all facets. He is the cleaner, crisper striker and has great distance management. He really should be winning this with ease. Bryce Mitchell meets a tough opponent in Charles Rosa but the TUF prodigy has continually improved each fight and he has the strength advantage over Rosa. I expect him to take Rosa down repeatedly and amass top control that could go close to reaching the double-digit mark if the fight goes the distance. Finally, Luque beat Price before comfortably in their last meeting and I can’t see any reason why he won’t again. Niko is an entertaining fighter but really hasn’t shown a great deal of improvement since their last fight. He can knock you out from anywhere but in fights where he landed the up-kick KO and hammer fists from the bottom, he was well behind on the judges’ scorecards at the time. As long as he stays out of sticky situations he should win this without much of an issue, most likely by a stoppage in round 1 or 2.
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