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Eric Uribe | Mon 04/05/2020 - 06:36 EDT

UFC Is Back: Betting Picks To Make For UFC 249

UFC Is Back: Betting Picks To Make For UFC 249
Slowly but surely, sports are returning to a world that desperately needs them. Come May 9, UFC will fill your sports betting void with its UFC 249 fight card. Despite the circumstances, the event features no shortage of star fighters — Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Henry Cejudo, Cowboy Cerrone, and others! We have four, completely-free UFC 249 betting picks for you inside this article!

The UFC 249 fight card is absolutely stacked from top to bottom. Online sportsbooks like Bovada have UFC 249 betting odds available right now. Early fight favorites include:

  • Tony Ferguson (-190)
  • Henry Cejudo (-235)
  • Francis Ngannou (-285)

We'll preview four of the most bet-worthy fights of the night soon. But first, we can't forget to mention that you're only a few clicks and minutes away from earning hundreds to thousands of dollars in FREE play thanks to player-friendly welcome bonuses. Yes, you read that correctly — free money! Are you really going to pass that up in times like this?   

Lightweight: Tony Ferguson (-190) vs. Justin Gaethje (+155)

The most cursed matchup in UFC history — Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov — is now off for the fourth time. Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 forced Khabib out of the originally-planned UFC 249 main event, which set in motion this interim lightweight championship bout.

This will be an absolute pitbull fight between two of the most aggressive combatants in all of UFC. Ferguson (25-3) has won 12 consecutive matchups, stopping his opponent early in all but three of them.

Gaethje is 21-2 all-time, with an astounding 18 wins coming via knockout. It's a shame this will take place in an empty arena in Jacksonville, Florida because it's a dynamite clash deserving of a sold-out crowd. 

We don't see a scenario where this fight goes the full five rounds. No way, not with the killer instinct each of these two possesses. If there's an exact finish prop bet, take knockout.  

With that said, we like Ferguson's cardio to be the resounding difference-maker come UFC 249. He arguably has the largest gas tank in the UFC today. Whereas this will be Gaethje's first five-round fight in the UFC and you have to wonder how the pandemic will affect his training camp, on short notice no less.

Our prediction is that "El Cucoy", as Ferguson goes by, wins this with a knockout in round three. This is a tough matchup for him, and one that benefits him little as he's already claimed the interim belt before, but Ferguson is just built differently. Somehow, someway he'll prevail under the trying circumstances.  

Betting pick to make: Ferguson (-190)

Bantamweight: Henry Cejudo (-235) vs. Dominick Cruz (+185)

Cejudo has quite a storied career in the UFC. He's one of just seven competitors to capture championships in two separate weight classes (bantamweight, which he currently holds, and flyweight). Winner of five in a row, he's the number-three-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the promotion. 

That's a big reason why he's a substantial favorite over Cruz, who hasn't stepped in the octagon in over three years. A series of unfortunate injuries — one after another — robbed Cruz of a once-skyrocketing career. Holder of a 22-2 record, Cruz went almost 10 years without tasting defeat. 

The 2011 fully-healthy version of Cruz could easily win this fight. At that point, Cruz was one of the top-5 best fighters on the planet. But what condition is he in today after three ACL surgeries and other ailments?

The answer is a great mystery, which makes us hesitant to bet Cruz. Unknowns are something you generally want to avoid in betting. Credit to Cruz for his comeback, but we're going with Cejudo, who we know for a fact remains one of the top guys in the UFC today. 

Betting pick to make: Cejudo (-235)

Heavyweight: Greg Hardy (-200) vs. Yorgen de Castro (+160)

Ever wonder what happened to Hardy after flaming out of the NFL after multiple arrests? He's built a respectable MMA career with a 5-2-1 record. 

In what promises to be a rock-em-sock-em-robot fight, Hardy faces off against an undefeated de Castro (6-0). It's the opening fight of the main card, which will stream exclusively on ESPN+.

This will de Castro's second UFC, but if it's anything like his first, Hardy needs to watch out. De Castro's first-round knockout of Justin Tafa at UFC 243 was one of the most vicious KO's of the whole year. 

Hardy has the name power and will draw money from casual fight fans that remember his NFL stint. However, we like de Castro to pull the slight upset against a largely-untested fighter in Hardy.  

Betting pick to make: Castro (+160)

Welterweight: Anthony Pettis (-155) vs. Donald Cerrone (+125)

Can you believe this fight will take place on the prelims? It goes to show you how badly Dana White wants to give fans something to root (and bet on) during this pandemic!

Both Pettis and Cowboy are on a sharp decline. Cowboy was famously beaten by Connor McGregor in 40 seconds earlier this year — his third consecutive defeat. Meanwhile, Pettis has dropped back-to-back matchups against Nate Diaz and Carlos Diego Ferreira. 

Despite each's struggles, it's a fun fight between two UFC stalwarts. It's also a rematch seven years in the making. Back in 2013, Pettis stopped Cerrone with a first-round TKO. 

In the grudge match, we like Cerrone to even the score. He's better than he showed against McGregor and is the more well-rounded fighter of the two. 

Betting pick to make: Cowboy Cerrone (+125)

There are eight other fights on the UFC 249 fight card. Odds for those bouts can be found at one of the reputable sportsbooks below.

Remember those welcome bonus with free money that we mentioned earlier? Well, each of these sportsbooks offers one. Just sign up, deposit money, and you'll earn a hefty reward — all in a matter of minutes! Don't pass this opportunity up!

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