The Ultimate Fighting Championship is back and ready to make its return from a seven-week break this Saturday night only on pay-per-view. UFC 249 is hands down one of the most stacked cards in MMA history and features an Interim Lightweight Championship match between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. This matchup has all the makings for fiyht of the Year and features two elite lightweight warriors who never seem to have a dull fight.
UFC president Dana White made a bold proclamation that the UFC would be the first to return to action from the sports shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. True to his word, White assembled a jam-packed card with 12 fights scheduled to go down in an empty arena in Florida this Saturday night at the VyStar Memorial Arena. On the latest episode of Wrestling With Reality podcast, hosts Jon Wanglund and Richie Reardon broke down the entire UFC 249 match card and offered their predictions for the entire card.
Early Preliminary Card: Pretenders or contenders?
- Ryan Spann -420 vs. Sam Alvey +330 — Light heavyweights
- Vicente Luque -280 vs. Niko Price +230 — Welterweights
- Bryce Mitchell -165 vs. Charles Rosa +155 — Featherweights
The early preliminary card features three prospects to really keep an eye on. Ryan Spann, Vincente Luque and Bryce Mitchell have been on a tear in their respective divisions.
Each of these fighters is on the cusp of moving up the ladder on future cards with victories this weekend. But they have no easy task in front of them with their respective opponents and anything can happen in the Octagon. On this episode, Jon and Richie give their thoughts on who are pretenders and who are contenders for these exciting early preliminary matches.
Preliminary Card: Lots of questions will be answered
- Anthony Pettis -150 vs. Donald Cerrone +125 — Welterweight
- Fabricio Werdum -330 vs. Aleksei Oleinik +260 — Heavyweight
- Ronaldo Souza -125 vs. Uriah Hall +105 — Middleweight
- Carla Esparza -160 vs. Michelle Waterson +140 — Women’s Strawweight
You know it is a stacked card when Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone are fighting on the preliminary card. Lots of questions will be answered about the mental toughness of Donald Cerrone after his crushing defeat at the hands of Conor McGregor several months back. Will Donald defeat his old foe Anthony Pettis or have another crushing loss? Also, former Heavyweight Fabricio Werdum returns from a two-year layoff and looks to insert himself back into title contention. Will ring rust play a factor for the former champion Werdum?
Rounding out the Preliminary Card, “Jacare” Souza and Uriah Hall need solid wins to get themselves in title contention again. Both competitors have showed signs of aging, and it is now or never for both fighters. Jon and Richie close out the Preliminary Card by having an interesting debate for the winner of Carla Esparza vs Michelle Waterson getting the next title shot and who is the better overall fighter in this matchup.
Main Card: There will be fireworks!
- Henry Cejudo (c) -220 vs. Dominick Cruz +180 — Bantamweight Title
- Francis Ngannou -280 vs. Jair Rozenstruik +230 — Heavyweight
- Calvin Kattar -240 vs. Jeremy Stephens +200 — Featherweight
- Greg Hardy -195 vs. Yorgan De Castro +165 – Heavyweight
Podcast Predictions for UFC 249 – LISTEN NOW
It puzzles me on why Calvin Kattar vs. Jeremy Stephens and Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro made the main card over Anthony Pettis vs Donald Cerrone. These will be two very fun fights, but the card placement is odd to me. Nonetheless, these two matchups will not go the distance. Make sure to keep your eye on Yorgan De Castro as he is young, hungry, and a special athlete.
The final non-title match on UFC 249 features former title contender Francis Ngannou looking to stake his claim to the next Heavyweight title shot with a victory over Jair Rozentruik. While Rozentruik is a formidable opponent for Ngannou, he has never been hit by someone with Ngaannou’s power. Don’t blink take any snack breaks during this contest as this fight may be over really quick. To close out the main card matches, the dynamic duo discuss if Dominick Cruz deserved an immediate title shot after being inactive almost four years due to serious injuries and if he can beat the surging Cejudo.
Main Event: This will be a classic
- Tony Ferguson -190 vs. Justin Gaethje +160 — Interim Lightweight Title
There is no way Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje do not deliver an entertaining fight. Styles make fights and these competitor’s styles will make for a legendary encounter. Closing out the podcast, the guys discuss why their styles match up so well and who holds more tools to victory in this contest.