UFC 249 Odds: Tony Ferguson, Henry Cejudo Favored in Pay-Per-View Title Fights

Posted on: May 9, 2020, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: May 10, 2020, 10:40h.

Tony Ferguson will try to win the interim lightweight title yet again on Saturday, as he battles Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday.

UFC 249 Ferguson Gaethje
Tony Ferguson weighs-in before fighting Jose Aldo at UFC 218 in Detroit on Dec. 1, 2017. (Image: Jose Juarez/AP)

Ferguson enters the fight as a -190 favorite over Gaethje (+160), according to William Hill.

Ferguson, Gaethje in Line for Shot at Nurmagomedov

UFC 249 marks something of a return to normalcy for the sports world, as it will be the first major live sporting event in the United States in nearly two months. That has fans, bettors, and sportsbooks all anticipating Saturday’s card of 12 fights, including two title bouts at the top of the event.

The main event is the clash between Ferguson (25-3) and Gaethje (21-2), with the winner in line for a title shot against undefeated lightweight titlist Khabib Nurmagomedov. Gaethje is a late replacement for Nurmagomedov, who had planned to fight Ferguson but ended up stuck in Russia after attempting to be in the right place at the right time to get around travel restrictions.

That makes this a critical matchup for both men, and one that remains exciting for fans even without Nurmagomedov in the mix. In fact, Gaethje thinks that Ferguson might be a tougher test for him than an eventual title clash with the Russian.

There’s so many unknowns with Tony,” Gaethje said ahead of UFC 249. “You know what Khabib is going to do, and that’s going to be take you down, try to push you against the fence. And if not, he’s going to try and take shots from the space in the middle of the Octagon. I believe that he can’t take me down in the middle of the Octagon, and I can stay off the fence. So that puzzle is written. How do you beat Tony? I don’t know. I’m going to find out.”

Ferguson talked about Nurmagomedov with the media as well, attacking the champion for what he sees as ducking their planned fight.

“Khabib didn’t want the fight, he ran away like a dog with his tail between his legs. It’s the same thing with Conor,” Ferguson said during the virtual media day for UFC 249. “Where are they at? Obviously they’re back home trying to quarantine and we’re here crushing quarantine.”

Bantamweight Title Fight Co-Headlines UFC 249

With both Ferguson and Gaethje known for producing action-packed fights, fans should expect a thrilling main event. And yet, there’s the potential for the co-main event to overshadow the final bout of the night.

That contest will see Henry Cejudo (15-2) take on Dominick Cruz (22-2) for the UFC bantamweight championship. Cejudo has won his last five fights in impressive fashion, including winning and defending the UFC flyweight title before relinquishing that crown to focus on the bantamweight division. Meanwhile, Cruz has been out of action for four years. But while he may be rusty, his name and pedigree were enough to land him an immediate title shot in his return to the ring.

Cejudo enters the co-main event as a -220 favorite over Cruz (+180). Other attractions on the UFC 249 main card include a heavyweight fight between Francis Ngannou (-280) and the undefeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+230), as well as a featherweight contest between Calvin Kattar (-240) and Jeremy Stephens (+200).