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UFC 249 Preview

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With two title fights and some of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of the year so far, UFC 249 promises to be the spectacle that we’ve been waiting weeks for. Here we preview some of the standout matchups on the UFC 249 card so you know what to expect come Saturday night.

Donald Cerrone (2.2) vs Anthony Pettis (1.8)

These two veterans of the sport last met in 2013 when Pettis won via first round KO. It’s safe to say that a lot has happened since then but both fighters badly need a win on Saturday. Cerrone arrives off the back of three defeats - most recently to Conor McGregor - but is reportedly in a much better place ahead of this bout. Pettis, meanwhile, has lost two on the bounce but he showed the fire still burns last time out and should have enough resolve to clock up another victory here.

Francis Ngannou (1.4) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (3.5)

This likely won’t be as straightforward as the odds forecast. While Ngannou has won his last three bouts in just a little over two-and-a-half minutes combined, the up and coming Rozenstruik - undefeated in 10 - will present a much sterner test. While an upset can’t be ruled out, the side markets offer more value given the sheer power on display and the 2.06 on offer for another Ngannou KO victory makes plenty of appeal. 

Henry Cejudo (1.5) vs Dominick Cruz (2.9)

A fight that revolves around Cruz’s fitness given that he hasn’t stepped foot in the Octagon since 2016. He’s won after mammoth breaks before but by facing one of the greatest combat fighters of all time, he’s got his work cut out. As such, the 1.5 about Cejudo in the win market feels like value but the 2.3 available for a win by decision looks a strong play given Cruz’s proven ability to go the distance. 

Tony Ferguson (1.6) vs Justin Gaethje (2.6)

It’s been eight years since Ferguson last tasted defeat in the cage and while Gaethje is probably one of the most powerful opponents he’s faced in recent bouts - earning first-round KO victories in his last three - it’s incredibly hard to see an upset on Saturday. Ferguson hasn’t sealed a win in the first round since 2016 though, and his opponent does have the stamina to match the power so over 2.5 rounds at 2.1 is of interest. 

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*All prices correct at time of publication


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