UFC 249: Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson - Prediction and Betting Odds
|When||Saturday, April 18, Time TBD|
|How to Watch||Watch on ESPN+ here!|
The world is in a state of chaos currently due to the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus.
Major sports leagues such as the NFL, NBA, and NHL have suspended their seasons with no indication of whether they’ll be able to continue.
The UFC has also suffered due to the coronavirus.
Fight Night 170 in Brazil was held without any fans in attendance and the next three Fight Night cards were officially postponed with no word on rescheduling.
However, UFC PResident Dana White has been adamant on one thing: UFC 249 will take place. No matter what.
A lightweight title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and challenger Tony Ferguson is set to headline the card and it is a fight that has been canceled four times already. The UFC seems poised to not let that happen for the fifth time.
Originally scheduled to take place in New York, the state announced a state of emergency earlier this month, leaving the UFC without a venue. When Nevada banned all sporting events, this ruled out the UFC Apex Center as a possible alternative. Regardless, Dana White continues to assure the public that the event will happen.
No location has been made official as of the time of writing this piece, but, most recently, Dana White told the media that a new venue has been 99.9 percent confirmed.
With that said, here we will breakdown each fight of the main card as it stands right now.
The card is always subject to change due to constantly evolving news and travel constraints. We will be continuously updating these odds as the possibility of fights being added or removed from the card continue to loom.
JUST IN: Dana White has revealed he’s secured a location for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s #UFC 249 bout with Tony Ferguson.
“I do (know where it is). But I’m not ready to tell you yet. I know lots of things. There’s not going to be any fans there. It’s going to be a closed event.” pic.twitter.com/dOYnZyb9th
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) March 23, 2020
(C) Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson – Lightweight Championship
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson Betting Odds and Markets
Bet $50 Get $50 (in cash) by using the promo code WSN50 on William Hill.
Khabib vs Ferguson Moneyline
|William Hill NJ||-270||+220|
Khabib vs Ferguson – To Go the Distance
|William Hill NJ||+120||-163|
Tony Ferguson – To Win by Any Knockout, Submission, or DQ
Khabib – To Win by Any Knockout, Submission, or DQ
Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (28-0)
Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Reach: 70 in.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is the undisputed lightweight champion of the UFC.
There is no doubting that. The undefeated fighter has won 12 fights in a row in the UFC including two title defenses.
It was recently reported that the champ has moved his training camp to Russia, which has led to many speculating that Russia will be the country to host the most anticipated fight in UFC history.
Khabib became champion in 2018 when he defeated Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision. He was originally slated to face Ferguson (for the fourth time) on this card (UFC 223) but Ferguson withdrew due to a freak accident one week prior.
Following the Iaquinta fight, Nurmagomedov faced off against former champion Conor McGregor and won via fourth-round submission. The notorious post-fight melee ensued and Khabib was suspended by the UFC.
During that time, lightweight contender Dustin Poirier cemented himself as the interim champion and next title challenger to Khabib upon his return.
On September 7, 2019, at UFC 242, Khabib and Poirier did battle and it was Khabib who came out on top, earning yet another submission victory, this time in round three with a rear-naked choke over Poirier.
The Dagestani fighter has yet to lose a fight in his professional MMA career. Under his head coach, his father Abdulmanap, as well as Javier Mendez of the world-famous American Kickboxing Academy in California, Khabib trains with the likes of former champions Daniel Cormier, Cain Velasquez, and Luke Rockhold.
He has an international master of sports rankings in judo, sambo, hand-to-hand combat, and pankration. He also has a black belt in judo and is infamously known for his wrestling abilities. He has been fighting professionally since 2008 and is currently ranked as the second-best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He is five years younger than Tony Ferguson.
Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (25-3)
Height: 5 ft. 11 in.
Reach: 76.5 in.
Known as one of the best and most unorthodox lightweights on the planet, Tony Ferguson also boats a 12-fight winning streak of his own.
Despite recent injuries and personal issues, Ferguson has recently proven his ability to overcome just about anything. After injuring his knee just before his last scheduled fight with Khabib, Ferguson managed to heal up faster than most would and bounce back with two more big wins in the octagon.
Ferguson made his return to the sport in 2018 when he was pitted against former champion Anthony Pettis.
The two put on one hell of a show for two rounds but Pettis’ corner ultimately threw in the towel due to Pettis breaking his hand.
His corner viewed it as too dangerous to continue, giving Ferguson the win by TKO. His next fight would end in a similar fashion.
In 2019, after two rounds of chaos against Donald Cerrone, the fight was stopped by the ringside doctors when swelling to Cerrone’s eye became so severe that he could no longer see and was not able to continue.
Another TKO victory was awarded to Ferguson.
Like Khabib, Ferguson has also been fighting professionally since 2008.
The California native trains all over the country and is most notably known for his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills, in which he has a black belt under Eddie Bravo of the world-famous 10th Planet jiu-jitsu school.
He also boasts NCWA wrestling credentials. Standing one-inch taller than his opponent, Ferguson will also come into this fight with a 6.5-inch reach advantage. He is ranked as the number-one lightweight after the champion and sits as the tenth-best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.
Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas – Women’s Strawweight Division
Andrade vs Namajunas Betting Odds – Moneyline
|Sportsbook||J. Andrade||R. Namajunas|
Jessica Andrade (20-7)
Height: 5 ft. 1.5 in.
Reach: 62 in.
This is the first of back-to-back rematches on the main card.
After winning three fights in a row, Jessica Andrade was given a title opportunity against the then-champion Rose Namajunas at UFC 237 last May.
In spectacular fashion, Andrade would knock out Namajunas in the second-round by a massive slam into the mat, becoming the new women’s strawweight champion.
She wouldn’t hold the title for long, however. Less than three months later, Andrade would defend the title in China against Zhang Weili. Andrade would succumb to a TKO loss to Weili in just 42 seconds.
The Brazilian fighter trains out of Rio de Janeiro with the Paraná Vale Tudo team. Fighting professionally since 2011, the former champion has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Gilliard Parana. She is the number-one ranked strawweight in the UFC under the current champion and the fourth-ranked pound-for-pound women’s fighter.
”Thug” Rose Namajunas (8-4)
Height: 5 ft. 5 in.
Reach: 65 in.
As mentioned earlier, Rose Namajunas is another former women’s strawweight champion. After defeating the great Joanna Jedrzejczyk twice in a row, Namajunas’ last fight was, in fact, her title loss to Andrade at UFC 237.
Since then, Namajunas has been vocal about her mental struggles with competition and even seemed to be flirting with the idea of retirement. However, she bounced back and stated that losing the title was the equivalent of a weight being lifted off of her shoulders and that she is excited to be competing once again.
Born in Wisconsin, Namajunas currently trains with the 303 Training Center with world-renowned head coach Trevor Whittman.
The former champion has black belts in taekwondo and karate as well as a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Fighting since 2010, Namajunas is the second-ranked strawweight in the UFC. She enters this contest with a 3.5-inch height and 3-inch reach advantage over Andrade. She is also one year younger than her opponent.
Magomed Ankalaev vs Ion Cutelaba – Light Heavyweight Division
Magomed Ankalaev (14-1)
Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
Reach: 75 in.
This is the second rematch on the UFC 249 card and this one will be a lot more fresh in the minds of the MMA community as these two fighters last fought just one month ago on February 29 – a fight that has already gone down as one of the worst referee stoppages in UFC history.
Ankalaev was awarded a TKO victory over Cutelaba when the referee stepped in despite Cutelaba still being on his feet and fighting back. Claiming to be using a rope-a-dope style, Cutelaba argued that he was never in danger of being finished. The win goes down as Ankalaev’s fourth UFC victory in a row.
The Dagestani fighter is part of the Gorets team in Russia and boasts an international master of sport in MMA and a master of sport in sambo. He has been fighting professionally since 2014 and is currently ranked as the 13th-best light heavyweight in the division.
Ion “The Hulk” Cutelaba (15-5, 1 no-contest)
Height: 6 ft. 1 in.
Reach: 75 in.
As mentioned earlier, Cutelaba was on the losing end of his last fight, but it wasn’t without controversy. Prior to the first Ankalaev fight, Cutelaba was coming off of a TKO win over Khalil Rountree, Jr. He has a UFC record of 4-4 since joining the organization in 2016.
The Moldavian fighter trains out of his home country with Timoshkov Sport Club. He is known for his prowess in sambo, judo, and greco-roman wrestling. He has been fighting as a professional since 2012.
Currently unranked, he is one year younger than his opponent but will have a one-inch height disadvantage in the fight. Both fighters are the same age.
Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Hernandez – Lightweight Division
Islam Makhachev (18-1)
Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Reach: 70.5 in.
One of the lightweight champion’s training partners, Islam Makhachev is currently riding a six-fight winning streak in the UFC promotion.
Makhachev most recently fought on the UFC 242 card against Davi Ramos.
Makhachev defeated Ramos via unanimous decision. He has other notable wins over opponents such as Gleason Tibeau and Nik Lentz.
Makhachev trains with Khabib Nurmagomedov out of California with the American Kickboxing Academy.
Fighting professionally since 2010, he has an international master of sports ranking in combat sambo. Khabib’s father Abdulmanap is also his head coach. Currently, he is ranked as the 14th-best lightweight in the UFC. He will have a one-inch height advantage.
Alexander “The Great” Hernandez (11-2)
Height: 5 ft. 9 in.
Reach: 72 in.
After winning his first two fights for the UFC promotion, Alexander Hernandez was given a step up in competition as he was put up against legend Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone last January. Cerrone would defeat Hernandez via TKO in the second round but it was definitely a positive learning experience for the young fighter. Since the Cerrone fight, Hernandez has bounced back. Last summer, Hernandez defeated Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision.
The American-born fighter trains out of San Antonio, Texas with the Ohana Academy. Fighting as a professional since 2012, he currently holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He is ranked as the 15th-best lightweight in the UFC, is one year younger than his opponent, and will have a 1.5-inch reach advantage.
Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar – Featherweight Division
Stephens vs Kattar Betting Odds – Moneyline
|Sportsbook||J. Stephens||C. Kattar|
Jeremy “L’il Heathen” Stephens (28-17, 1 no-contest)
Height: 5 ft. 8.5 in.
Reach: 71 in.
Always on the cusp of a title shot, Jeremy Stephens always seems to fall short right when it counts.
After three impressive wins in a row, Stephens was faced off against former champ Jose Aldo where he would lose via TKO due to a nasty body kick. He would lose his next fight against rising star Zabit Magomedsharipov.
His next fight against Yair Rodriguez would be ruled a no-contest due to an eye poke and then a rematch was set between the two. Last October, the rematch would take place, and Stephens would lose his third fight in a row – this time via unanimous decision.
Known for his striking power, the Iowa native trains out of San Diego, California with the Alliance MMA team. A professional since 2005, Stephens currently holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. A former lightweight fighter, Stephens is currently ranked as the seventh-best UFC featherweight.
Calvin “The Boston Finisher” Kattar (20-4)
Height: 5 ft. 11 in.
Reach: 72 in.
Calvin Kattar has gone 4-2 since joining the UFC in 2017 and, most recently, is coming off of a loss after winning two fights in a row against Chris Fishgold and Ricardo Lamas. Following these wins, he was scheduled to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov.
Kattar would lose the fight, which took place last November, via unanimous decision – similar to the fashion that Stephens lost to Zabit, albeit that the Kattar/Zabit fight was awarded fight of the night honors.
Fighting professionally since 2007, the American fighter currently trains with the New England Cartel and Lauzon MMA.
He has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and fantastic muay thai abilities. Currently ranked as the ninth-best featherweight in the UFC, Kattar will have a 2.5-inch height and one-inch reach advantage over Jeremy Stephens on April 18.
As mentioned earlier, the card is subject to change as new limitations are continuously being set on travel across the globe. Stay tuned to WSN for any and all card changes and latest odds updates.
UFC Fight Night 170: Lee vs Oliveira Results
- Charles Oliveira def. Kevin Lee via submission (Round 3)
- Gilbert Burns def. Demian Maia via TKO (Round 1)
- Renato Moicano def. Damir Hadzovic via submission (Round 1)
- Nikita Krylov def. Johnny Walker via unanimous decision
- Francisco Trinaldo def. John Makdessi via unanimous decision