Tony Ferguson v Justin Gaethje: Three things to watch out for at UFC 249
Odds and preview for Interim Lightweight Championship bout
After two failed attempts to hold UFC 249 so far, it could be third time lucky with the event set to go ahead in Florida next weekend.
Tony Ferguson was finally meant to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event, but travel restrictions mean the undisputed lightweight champion can’t defend his title.
Justin Gaethje has stepped in to replace the Russian, with the main event set to begin at around 03:00 on BT Sport next Sunday.
Before the fight, we’ve picked out three things to keep an eye out for:
Can Ferguson keep his unbeaten run going?
Ferguson is the clear 8/15 favourite here. He’s on a 12-fight winning streak – a record for UFC’s lightweight division. He also hasn’t lost since back in 2012.
That unbeaten run is why fans are so keen to see El Cucuy take on the Khabib – who has won all 28 of his 28 bouts, giving him the longest active undefeated streak in UFC.
It should be a monumental fight if and when they do eventually meet in the Octagon. But Ferguson has to keep winning for the match to maintain it’s allure.
Could Gaethje catch out Ferguson?
This was the fifth time that a fight between Ferguson and Khabib had been arranged, and the fifth time that it had to be cancelled.
Having waited so long to fight the Eagle, and prepared for his relentless mauling style, will Ferguson now be ready for the challenge that Gaethje poses?
Gaethje may not have his opponent’s UFC experience, but three straight wins show he’s not to be taken lightly. We have him at 3/2 to win.
Will Gaethje get the KO?
The underdog is likely to come out swinging. He may have trained as a wrestler, but the two-time Arizona state champion doesn’t tend to use a mat-based approach like you might expect.
The 31-year-old has an aggressive, stand-up style. And as he’s won 18 of his 21 fights by KO or TKO, it’s clearly working for him. Our traders go 13/8 that he wins by KO/TKO/Submission.
He’s also won four Fight of the Night and three Performance of the Night awards in just six UFC fights, which explains why his nickname is The Highlight.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication