VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., hosts the first of three UFC events in a seven-day span this Saturday (May 9, 2020) when Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje headline UFC 249. In the co-feature, Henry Cejudo looks to stake a claim as Bantamweight G.O.A.T. against Dominick Cruz, while Jeremy Stephens locks horns with Calvin Kattar and Francis Ngannou faces fellow Heavyweight knockout artist Jairzinho Rozenstruik in additional ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV) main card action.
Without any bars or barbershops to drain your wallet, why not put a few bucks into this event?
What Went Wrong at UFC: ‘Brasilia?’
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Aleksei Kunchenko got screwed and so did we, but the rest was a success. While I didn’t have anywhere near as much faith in Maryna Moroz as I should have, we nonetheless came out in the black thanks to her, David Dvorak, and Charles Oliveira.
UFC 249 Odds For The Undercard:
Anthony Pettis (-145) vs. Donald Cerrone (+125)
Fabricio Werdum (-330) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (+270)
Carla Esparza (-150) vs. Michelle Waterson (+130)
Ronaldo Souza (-130) vs. Uriah Hall (+110)
Vicente Luque (-290) vs. Niko Price (+245)
Bryce Mitchell (-155) vs. Charles Rosa (+135)
Ryan Spann (-400) vs. Sam Alvey (+325)
Thoughts: Carla Esparza is this week’s golden girl, and fellow grapplers Ronaldo Souza and Bryce Mitchell are major bargains in their own rights.
Despite being known as the “Karate Hottie,” Michelle Waterson’s ground game has been vital to her UFC success, and she’ll find it extremely difficult to bring that to bear against a wrestler of Esparza’s caliber. “The Cookie Monster” just recently overpowered a very capable grappling specialist in Virna Jandiroba, and her fast-improving striking should allow her to hold her own in the standup.
Esparza’s takedowns should comfortably win this for her, so be in a position to profit.
“Jacare’s” recent struggles and Uriah Hall’s penchant for inconvenient heroics make this a risky play, but Hall just recently had issues with a top jiu-jitsu artist in Antonio Carlos Junior. Souza, beyond being a far more devastating striker than “Cara de Sapato,” also boasts ostensibly superior takedowns and a ground game that’s better adapted to MMA.
Expect an early finish from the Brazilian.
Charles Rosa vs. Bryce Mitchell just seems like a case of “gritty grappler vs. grittier grappler.” Mitchell’s wrestling impressed me against a very capable ground artist in Bobby Moffett, and as impressive as Rosa’s armbar finish of Manny Bermudez was, I don’t have faith in “Boston Strong’s” ability to submit Mitchell off of his back. Mitchell is red-hot at the moment, and between his toughness and physical strength, he looks like a reliable pick.
If you’d like to beef up your parlays, both Fabricio Werdum and Vicente Luque look like safe picks. Werdum is a stylistic nightmare for Aleksei Oleinik and Luque is rematching a guy he comprehensively demolished in their first meeting.
UFC 249 Odds For The Main Card:
Tony Ferguson (-185) vs. Justin Gaethje (+160)
Henry Cejudo (-225) vs. Dominick Cruz (+185)
Francis Ngannou (-275) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstuik (+235)
Calvin Kattar (-250) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+210)
Greg Hardy (-190) vs. Yorgan de Castro (+165)
Thoughts: The PPV main card isn’t quite as bountiful as the undercard this time around. Every fight besides the co-main is knockout artist vs. knockout artist, the riskiest type of match up to bet on. I say leave the top five alone.
UFC 249 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Carla Esparza and Bryce Mitchell: Bet $50 to make $87
- Parlay — Ronaldo Souza and Vicente Luque: Bet $30 to make $41.40
Is this a good idea? Probably not. Are we tuning in anyway? You bet. See you Saturday, Maniacs!
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 249 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 249: “Ferguson vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.