Sport makes it’s tentative way back in small stages but this weekend sees a huge event take place in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC 249 goes ahead in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, May 9th with a busy undercard leading up to a big headliner.
An interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje is the main interest and there are lots to work through from a betting perspective.
Tony Ferguson is one of UFC’s in-form fighters and he arrives at the Octagon with 12 straight wins behind him. Overall, since making his MMA debut back in 2007, the 36-year-old has recorded 25 wins from 28 fights with 12 victories coming via knockout.
On the other side of the Octagon is Justin Gaethje who has 21 wins from 23 outings including 18 by KO. The tale of the tape shows two comparable records but the sportsbooks have sided with the experienced Ferguson who is quoted at odds of 1.53 with PowerPlay. That price leaves underdog Gaethje out at 2.50 with Sports Interaction.
Not every sportsbook has got behind UFC 249 in regards to prop bets but there is a good selection from Bodog. Bearing in mind that both men have a tendency to end fights quickly, there are odds of just 1.20 on the bout to finish inside the distance.
That looks to be one of the safer bets of the evening but it’s too short to be of real interest. As a more tempting alternative, Bodog has a price of 2.90 on Ferguson v Gaethje to finish inside the first round.
Elsewhere, one price that really stands out is the 3.75 listed by Spin Sports on Tony Ferguson to win by KO, TKO or Disqualification. Considering that the man known as El Cucuy is the heavy favourite in the moneyline market, that’s a fair price, particularly when we look at his Method of Victory Stats.
Best of the Undercard
We have a busy undercard in prospect for UFC 249 and it includes some stand out names such as Henry Cejudo and Donald Cerrone. At the very least, you will be able to find Moneyline odds for all 11 fights on the card so let’s see if we can find extra value.
Just ahead of the main event, Cejudo will take on Dominick Cruz in their Bantamweight championship battle. It’s described as a co-headliner in places but it is our penultimate event and it’s one where the experienced Cejudo is some way out in front.
As it stands, with his 15 wins from 17 fights, Cejudo is quoted at odds of 1.44 with PowerPlay while the outsider Cruz is out to 2.87 with Bet365. We don’t expect too many surprises in this one but you could go across to 888Sport who have generous odds of 3.75 on Cejudo to win by KO, TKO or disqualification.
All eleven fights on this bill feature an odds on a favorite so, if the bouts go with form, there could be some consistent, if modest profits to be made right through the card. If we are looking for an upset, the Anthony Pettis vs Donald Cerrone Welterweight battle at the top of the preliminary card is the one to focus on.
Pettis is some way out in front here at his moneyline odds of 1.69 with Bodog but Cerrone is a better MMA exponent than his price of 2.15 with Spin Sports suggests. Although there is a clear favourite, this is one of the closer markets for UFC 249 and there are good reasons why the outsider can come through.
The Cowboy may be heading into the veteran stages of his career, at the age of 37, but Cerrone has vast experience. 36 wins in 51 MMA fights is a modest record, to say the least, but it also shows that Cerrone is dangerous, if an unpredictable man once he’s inside the octagon.
We should also keep in mind that Pettis’ tally of 22 wins in 32 fights is nothing to get excited about either.
Best of the Rest
The only women’s matchup on the card is a strawweight battle between Carla Esparza and Michelle Waterson. This is another clear cut market with Esparza available at 1.65 with 888Sport and Waterson trailing at 2.30 with Bet365.
Those figures may not be interesting but anyone looking for a safer bet at a reasonable price could do worse than focus on this fight. Neither woman has a particularly outstanding record in MMA but Esparza has the better stats and the greater quality and those odds of 1.65 are lower in places.
Like most UFC events, we don’t expect 249 to be much different from the previous 248. Upsets are rare and, certainly, in the main event, the favourite should come through with little trouble. To get some value from the headliner, Ferguson by KO, TKO or Disqualification looks generous at 3.75.
Cerrone to upset the odds could be the exception on the night but in general, the shorter prices should deliver the profits. Look for these three tips to make it a productive evening
- Tony Ferguson to beat Justin Gaethje by KO, TKO or Disqualification at 3.75 with Spin Sports
- Donald Cerrone to beat Anthony Pettis at 2.15 with Spin Sports
- Carla Esparza to beat Michelle Waterson at 1.65 with 888Sport