The main event of UFC 29 looks set to change after bookmakers released odds for a matchup between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje on May 9 2020.
Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje Predictions
Tony Ferguson Odds Favorite to Beat Justin Gaethje as UFC 249 Interim Title Fight Confirmed.
UFC 249 will go ahead as scheduled on May 9 2020, though the main event has been altered after Justin Gaethje stepped in to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov in a bout opposite Tony Ferguson.
President Dana White confirmed to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that UFC events will soon resume despite the coronavirus pandemic and that an unspecified island will be used to host certain fights.
Ferguson – Gaethje Current Odds:
- Ferguson is -167
- Gaethje is +155
Ferguson, 36, had been scheduled to face UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, the coronavirus pandemic has seen many countries go into a phase of lockdown, and “The Eagle” told his followers via Instagram Live (via Sports Illustrated) he is unable to leave his native Russia to travel to the United States.
UFC president Dana White has been desperate to make that fight happen rather than cancel a fight between the two for a fifth time, but it now looks as though a replacement bout will take place.
Ferguson vs. Gaethje Free Bets Promos for the USA:
(NJ, CO, VA & OH)
(NJ, CO, VA & OH)
Bet on Ferguson – Gaethje (UFC 249) with NJ Sportsbook App bet365
Ferguson, 36, will hope to win the UFC interim lightweight championship for the second time in his career and is the -200 (1.50) favorite with bet365 US (use code NJGAMBLER) to seal his 13th successive victory in the Octagon.
“El Cucuy” was originally scheduled to face Nurmagomedov for the lightweight belt, but the reigning champion announced he would not be able to leave Russia under lockdown law due to COVID-19.
DraftKings has installed Gaethje as the +162 (2.62) underdog with a little more than one week to go until the fight takes place, and this new main event looks highly unlikely to go the distance.
Gaethje, 31, has won his last three fights in a row, and the last 10 fights he’s participated in (seven wins, three losses) have each finished via knockout or TKO.
White was adamant UFC 249 would go ahead in some form on April 18, confirming on Monday evening that the new main event was settled after both fighters agreed on their sides.
“The Highlight” tweeted that he was “terrified” after confirmation of the new fixture came through, hoping to end Ferguson’s run of almost eight years without a mixed martial arts defeat.
The UFC has received a lot of backlash for choosing to push for an event to take place while much of the world is on lockdown due to the coronavirus, though many sports fans are also overjoyed to see some form of competition return to the calendar.
Some US sportsbooks, such as an offshore betting site/app BetOnline released their predictions and odds for a matchup between Ferguson and Gaethje, with the latter entering the frame as a +145 (2.45) underdog. Former interim lightweight champion Ferguson is a -170 (1.60) frontrunner, boasting a 25-3 record and having won his last 12 fights in a row.
Gaethje is 21-2 and is on a three-win streak after suffering back-to-back losses against Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier in 2017 and 2018. Only two of his 23 career fights have gone the distance, with early stoppages in his last 10 (all via knockout or TKO).
Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone have been rumoured as potential UFC 249 opponents for Ferguson should his fight with Nurmagomedov be cancelled as expected, though it appears a meeting with Gaethje is now most likely.