UFC 249 is set to go down on tribal land in central California this month. This is an obvious end-run around widespread federal and state guidelines against holding large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. UFC head honcho Dana White is also in talks of purchasing a private island to hold regular events after UFC 249 in a Mortal Kombat/Hunger Games-style mashup.
That was not the only obstacle to getting UFC 249 off the ground. Last week the original main event star, Khabib Nurmagomedov, had to pull out after being unable to escape Russia’s COVID-19 lockdown. White was able to secure a last-minute replacement in Justin Gaethje to face Tony Ferguson.
UFC 249 Main Event Odds & Analysis
- Justin Gaethje +140
- Tony Ferguson -170
Arizona native and lightweight veteran Justin Gaethje is 31-years-old and stands 5’11” with a 70-inch reach. He’s gone 21-2 in his career with 18 wins coming by way of KO, one via submission and two by way of decision. He’s also suffered two career losses with both defeats coming by way of knockouts. Gaethje has won three straight, including a pair of first-round KO wins over James Vick and Edson Barboza and an even more impressive first-round TKO (punches) over widely respected veteran Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Gaethje in September.
36-year-old Californian Tony Ferguson (25-3) stands 5’11” with a 76.5-inch reach. The former interim Lightweight Champion. The veteran has recorded 12 KO wins in his career, eight via submission and five via decision. He’s also been on the wrong end of one submission loss and two decision losses. Ferguson has won a stellar 12 consecutive fights and comes into this affair off a second-round TKO (doctor stoppage) win over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 238 in June after stopping veteran Anthony Pettis at UFC 229 via the exact same TKO (doctor stoppage) win.
UFC Main Card Odds & Analysis
- Jessica Andrade +185
- Rose Namajunas -225
28-year-old Brazilian Jessica Andrade (20-7) stands 5’1 ½” and has a 62-inch reach. The veteran who won the strawweight championship over Namajunas via second-round KO (slam) in May of 2019, comes into this matchup off a crushing first-round TKO (knees and punches) loss against now, reigning champ Zhang Weili on March 7, just prior to sports being brought to a stunning halt as a whole because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
27-year-old Wisconsin native Rose Namajunas (8-4) stands 5’5” with a 65-inch reach. The former strawweight champion has recorded five wins via submission, one by way of KO and two via decision. She’s also been on the wrong end of one KO loss, one submission loss and a pair of decision losses.
- Yorgan de Castro +150
- Greg Hardy -170
32-year-old Portugal native Yorgan de Castro (6-0) is 5’11” and comes into this matchup off an impressive first-round KO win over Justin Tafa at UFC 243 in October. Former NFL defensive lineman Greg Hardy (5-2-0, 1 NC) is 31-years-old and stands 6’5”. He comes into this affair off a tough, unanimous decision loss against Alexander Volkov at UFC on ESPN 21 in November.
- Niko Price +190
- Vicente Luque -250
28-year-old New Jersey native Vincente Luque (17-7) is 5’11 and has a 75.5-inch reach. Luque had won six straight until losing to veteran Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson at UFC 244 in November. Ironically, that same six-match winning streak started with a second-round submission win over Price in October of 2017.
30-year-old Niko Price (14-3-1, 1 NC) stands 6’0” and comes into this bout off a thrilling first round KO (upkick) win over James Vick in October that earned him Performance of the Night honors. The bad news is that Price has alternated wins and losses over his last four fights while going 3-4 over his last seven.
- Jeremy Stephens +190
- Calvin Kattar -230
31-year-old Iowa native Jeremy Stephens (28-17) stands 5’8½” with a 71-inch reach. The veteran comes into this affair off a crushing unanimous decision loss against Yair Rodriguez in October that dropped him to 0-3 over his last four fights. 32-year-old Massachusetts native Calvin Kattar (20-4) stands 5’11” with a 72-inch reach. He comes into this bout off a hard-fought unanimous decision loss against Zabit Magomedsharipov in November.