The UFC will present its 249th official event on Saturday, May 9 after delays and setbacks ravaged the original fight card. One of the altered fights set for the original card was Tony Ferguson versus Khabib Nurmagomedov. The highly anticipated fight is off due to Khabib being stuck in Dagestan and unable to travel. In his place, UFC matchmaker Dana White has booked Ferguson against former WSOF Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje in the headline bout. UFC fans are anticipating the return of the fight promotion and its first event since March 14. In the buildup to the fight, fans can visit betdirect.net to get a bet bonus before wagering on Ferguson versus Gaethje, and the fighter they believe will win.
UFC 249 will see the fighters clash behind closed doors, but it won’t take away from the importance of the battle. The winner of Ferguson versus Gaethje will walk away as the interim lightweight champion and a major money fight with Khabib in the future. So, will it be Ferguson or Gaethje leaving with the title?
The Favourite: Tony Ferguson
Leading sportsbooks have listed Ferguson as the fight favourite leading up to UFC 249. The lightweight is 25-3 in the octagon and hasn’t tasted defeat since 2012. Ferguson has reeled off 12 straight wins in the UFC with his most recent coming against Donald Cerrone at UFC 238. Can Ferguson stretch his win streak to 13? Fans of the fighter can find out and get a Ladbrokes sign-up code prior to the bout to wager on the man they believe will be victorious.
Ferguson was supposed to battle Khabib prior to the fight being rearranged. That bout could occur later this year unless Ferguson is unable to defeat Gaethje.
Ferguson’s winning streak isn’t the only significant indicator that he could win on Saturday. He had been preparing to battle Khabib for the lightweight title and should be in excellent fighting condition. Gaethje was only confirmed as Khabib’s replacement for the fight around a month ago, so has had little time to prepare for Ferguson. However, that lack of preparation goes both ways as Ferguson and his team had to shift gears to scout the new opponent.
The Underdog: Justin Gaethje
Gaethje is the decided underdog for the fight and goes in with the handicap of a lack of preparation time. The former NCAA Division I wrestler is on a win streak of his own in the octagon. Gaethje has won three consecutive bouts. However, those victories are overshadowed by losses to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez.
There is a belief that Gaethje, who has less to lose in UFC 249’s main event than Ferguson, will come out aggressive and could try to put the match away early. Although Gaethje did suffer those two losses back to back at UFC 218 and UFC on Fox: Poirier vs. Gaethje, he does have an 18-2 MMA record. Sure, only six of those 20 fights came in the UFC – with two finishing as losses – but anything can happen in the octagon at UFC 249.
Alvarez used a knee strike to knock out Gaethje while Poirier scored a TKO win via punches. If Ferguson follows the gameplans of Alvarez and Poirier, then he should come out on top with a 13th straight win.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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