UFC 249: Ferguson vs Gaethje will take place at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville on Sunday, May 10 at 12pm AEST.
UFC 249 TIPS
Two title fights to kick off the return of the UFC with the interim Lightweight Championship bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje headlining the UFC 249 card.
Bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo will defend his title against Dominick Cruz in the co-main event.
Here are our tips and predictions for the main card of UFC 249.
Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje
Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz
The co-main event sees Bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo defend his belt against Dominick Cruz who returns for the first time since losing the title to Cody Garbrandt in 2016. Cejudo has won his past five fights, including winning this title to make him a dual champion before he relinquished the Flyweight Championship to focus on fighting at Bantamweight.
Cejudo has beaten Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw and Marlon Moraes in his last three fights, two of them via TKO.
There could be some ring rust for Cruz and it’s hard to see him defeating “The Messenger” in this title bout. The most probable outcome is Cejudo winning unanimously with the judges and we like the value on offer for a Points decision.
Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik
This heavyweight clash between Francis Ngannou and the unbeaten Jairzinho Rozenstruik should see the winner go on to bigger and better things with a title opportunity just around the corner for the victor.
Ngannou has knocked out Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos in his past three fights, totalling just 142 seconds combined. There is no reason to expect he won’t be looking for the early KO and Rozenstruik was all but headed for defeat before a lip-shattering KO of Alistair Overeem at the 4:56 mark of the fifth round.
This fight has the potential to go either way but Ngannou to win via knockout looks the most logical and he can give “Bigi Boy” his first career loss.
Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar
This Featherweight bout sees the 20-4 Kattar take on the 28-17, 1NC Stephens. Kattar has won 12 of his past 14 fights with loses to Renato Moicano and Zabit Magomedsharipov. Stephens has lost three of his last four with a no contest also.
Kattar can finish fights with a TKO victory over Chris Fishgold and KO win over Ricardo Lamas in recent bouts. Stephens has a wealth of experience dating back to UFC 71 back in 2007 and can stick around in this fight. We don’t think the veteran will win though so happy to back Kattar by Decision.
Greg Hardy vs Yorgan De Castro
The main card kicks off with a Heavyweight clash between Greg Hardy and Yorgan De Castro. Hardy is 5-2, 1NC and De Castro is an unbeaten 6-0.
Many expect this fight to come about via stoppage with Hardy boasting five knockout wins and De Castro the same. Hardy has been gassed previously and if he tires out then this fight could end with the judges. Happy to have a play at the $3 for a decision result for either fighter.