Miscellaneous MMA/Wrestling/Boxing

UFC 249 – Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje: Preview, Odds, Picks

Steve Seufert | May 7th, 2020

Finally! We get an actual sporting event that you can bet on. At this point, I’m sure people are just excited to watch live sports action. These bouts will take place at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Dana White really spruced this card up with high-level talent. I think there are some really good underdog spots to attack from a sports betting angle. As always, there’s definitely value to be had within the fight props. Let’s get this UFC 249 preview started.

Early Prelims

Ryan Spann (-410) vs Sam Alvey (+310)

Alvey has lost three fights in a row and two of them have come by knockout or technical knockout. He takes pride in being tough and his toughness is what got him to this point in his career. His chin has deteriorated with damage and the decline in age. Spann has finished six of his last seven fights, three of those coming by technical knockout. He doesn’t just pack a punch, he’s good on the ground and better on the mat than Alvey. I think Spann ends this one early but it could be difficult because Alvey doesn’t like to engage. If this goes to the mat, I think there’s also a path to a submission victory for Spann.

Prediction: Spann wins via KO/TKO in round one.

The Bet: Spann wins via submission (+315)

Bryce Mitchell (-175) vs Charles Rosa (+145)

This fight is going to go wherever Mitchell takes it. I think he’s the better striker and he’s definitely the better wrestler. Where Mitchell wants to take this, he will, and he will dominate. Rosa is pretty durable and he’s pretty good off his back, so I wouldn’t expect a finish.

Prediction: Mitchell wins via dominant decision.

The Bet: Mitchell wins (-175)

Niko Price (+240) vs Vicente Luque (-280)

This line is ridiculous. Price has some of the best knockout power in the welterweight division and that includes guys like Jorge Masvidal and Conor McGregor. He’s only had one UFC fight go the distance, always engaging in a war. Luque is the more skilled fighter. He’s definitely better on the ground and he will probably win this fight. However, he has to last fifteen minutes with a killer to do so.

I’ve got Luque winning the battle but I will be betting on and rooting for Price. The odds are too much of a value, and the odds are even better if you just bet him to win TKO/KO, as they’re Price’s only true paths to victory.

Prediction: Luque wins via decision

The Bet: Price wins by TKO/KO (+400) or to win (+240)

Prelims

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (-135) vs Uriah Hall (+110)

I think Hall has the advantage on the feet. Souza definitely had the advantage on the ground. He can definitely grapple and wrestle with the best of them. I typically think of Souza as a tough guy but he’s had his chin busted a few times over the past few fights. Hall is tough and should be able to keep this standing long enough to win the fight. There’s also a path to a knockout victory. We’ve seen Souza hit the deck before.

Prediction: Hall wins via KO/TKO in round two.

The Bet: Hall wins in round two (+900), Hall wins (+110)

Carla Esparza (-150) vs Michelle Waterson (+130)

This is priced a little too close for my liking. Esparza is the bigger fighter and the better grappler. Waterson is way too content with being up against the cage. She gets handled in the clinch and Esparza really excels in those areas. Waterson has good leg kicks but those will be neutralized as Esparza looks for the takedown. This fight should’ve been handicapped around -200 in favor of Esparza. I’ll lay the money line up to -195, Esparza.

Prediction: Esparza wins via dominant decision.

The Bet: Esparza wins (-150)

Fabricio Werdum (-315) vs Aleksei Oleinik (+265)

Two old grapplers with nothing left to really prove. The line is probably too far off because of the power that Oleinik has in his hands and the questionable chin on Werdum’s face. I’m expecting a boring fight with two counter strikers that will be hesitant to attempt a takedown on their opponent. I’ll give out a prop pick, and I’ll play it. But I wouldn’t invest too much of your bankroll into this fight.

Prediction: Werdum wins via TKO/KO

The Bet: Werdum to win inside the distance (-130)

Donald Cerrone (+125) vs Anthony Pettis (-145)

This is going to be a fun fight. Pettis beat Cerrone the first time these two fought but things are much different now. There’s just the question of what version do we get? Outside of a lucky knockout against Stephen Thompson, Pettis has quit in almost every one of his last four or five fights. If he is losing, he will quit. With that being said, we saw the same thing from Cerrone in his last bout with Conor McGregor. The lights became too bright for Cerrone, and he even admitted that he didn’t want to fight that night.

I think for sure that Cerrone has more heart. He fights more than anyone in the UFC and you have to respect that. Pettis is the biggest quitter in the UFC and he’s too much of a liability to bet on. Pettis is the more flashy fighter and he’s the more entertaining fighter but I expect Cerrone to land a couple of big shots and maul him on the ground.

Prediction: Cerrone wins via KO/TKO in round two.

The Bet: Cerrone to win (+125)

Main Event

Greg Hardy (-210)  vs Yorgan De Castro (+185)

This is one of my favorite bets of the night. De Castro is the much more skilled fighter and he’s a really good striker in the heavyweight decision. I also believe that De Castro has good cardio for a heavyweight, and his stamina is among the best in the division.

Hardy is a freak athlete. We all know that he is a freak athlete, we’ve seen it. We’ve also seen Hardy get disqualified for kneeing an opponent. We’ve also seen him get a win overturned due to the use of an inhaler. His fight IQ and gas tank are too much of a liability to bet on, especially at this price.

Prediction: De Castro wins via decision

The Bet: De Castro to win (+185)

Jeremy Stephens (+205) vs Calvin Kattar (-245)

Wow! Another fun fight. With these two fighters, you know that you’re getting a brawl. Although Kattar is better than Stephens in every aspect of mixed martial arts, that won’t stop Stephens from bringing the fight to him. The power right hand from Stephens won’t prevent Kattar from moving forward, either.

This one will have fireworks but I expect Kattar to show that he had a clear advantage. The fight will go wherever Kattar wants the fight to go. Stephens is a live underdog because we know he’s tough with a heavy right hand, but Kattar should be prepared for it.

Prediction: Kattar wins via KO/TKO round three

The Bet: Kattar wins inside the distance +200

Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Rozenstruik is a decent prospect and I think his striking is near elite for the heavyweight division. On the other hand, Ngannou is on an absolute tear since losing by decision in that ridiculous Derrick Lewis fight.

On the feet, these guys are near even but I’d give Ngannou the edge in the knockout power department. I believe Ngannou is on a mission to get another title shot. He wants that belt and I don’t foresee anyone stopping him. You have to be a special wrestler or grappler to defeat Ngannou and Rozenstriuk doesn’t fit that bill.

Prediction: Ngannou wins with a statement first-round KO/TKO

The Bet: Ngannou to win in round one (+700)

Henry Cejudo (-225) vs. Dominick Cruz (+185)

Cruz fights with really good movement and he’s tough to hit. I think Cejudo has the power to drop Cruz but I think he will resort to his wrestling in this bout. Cejudo will takedown Cruz on multiple occasions to steal rounds, and I think he will even be able to control him at some point.

I give the edge to Cruz on the feet but it’s clearly Cejudo on the mat. Cruz is somewhat of a live dog because he is a good all-around fighter. If Cruz proves that he will not be held down on the mat, this could turn into a striking battle that’s obviously in his favor.

Prediction: Cejudo wins via decision.

The Bet: Likely no bets on this fight.

Justin Gaethje vs Tony Ferguson

Another absolute war scheduled for Saturday. This lightweight bout features two of the toughest guys in the entire world. I expect we see this fight on the feet and on the mat, providing great scrambles for grappling fans.

Ferguson is so content with fighting off his back that I’m not even worried about Gaethje using his wrestling. Speaking of wrestling, Gaethje rarely uses it anyway. On the feet, Ferguson has a clear striking advantage. I do have some concern with Ferguson’s knees and legs holding up against those brutal kicks that Gaethje possesses. Gaethje does have excellent power in his hands and he could drop Ferguson early. We’ve seen Ferguson dropped on numerous occasions throughout his career. With that being said, I expect this fight to drag on and Gaethje starts to fade.

Prediction: Ferguson wins via TKO/KO round four or five.

The Bet: Over 2.5 rounds (+115)

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