The UFC plans to move forward with its blockbuster UFC 249 pay-per-view event scheduled for May 9, despite facing a long list of challenges.
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UFC 249 was originally scheduled for April 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. However, the novel coronavirus pandemic halted plans for the fight card, ultimately leading to the fifth cancellation of the highly-anticipated lightweight matchup between Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson. The UFC quickly changed plans and attempted to host the event at Tachi Palace in Lemoore, California, but Disney and ESPN executives eventually requested UFC president Dana White to “stand-down” and not host an event in the current environment.
Now, just two weeks later, the UFC is gearing up for UFC 249 once again.
The fight card looks much different this time, with Justin Gaethje replacing Nurmagomedov in the main event. Gaethje will now face Ferguson for the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship and the opportunity to face Nurmagomedov for the undisputed title later this year.
The rest of the main card been altered, as well. A UFC Bantamweight Championship bout between champion Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz replaces Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade as the co-main event. The fight card also lost its UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship matchup between Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer, as Nunes withdrew from the event, with the aim of defending the title when she is able to have a full training camp.
Here’s how the UFC 249 fight card looks now just less than two weeks away from fight night, including the current betting odds (per MyBookie):
UFC 249 betting odds
- Tony Ferguson (-165) vs. Justin Gaethje (+135)
- Henry Cejudo (-245) vs. Dominick Cruz (+205)
- Francis Ngannou (-290) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+230)
- Jeremy Stephens (+205) vs. Calvin Kattar (-265)
- Greg Hardy (-185) vs. Yorgan De Castro (+155)
- Donald Cerrone (-105) vs. Anthony Pettis (-125)
- Alexsei Oleinik (+210) vs. Fabricio Werdum (-320)
- Carla Esparza(-140) vs. Michelle Waterson (+110)
- Jacare Souza (-135) vs. Uriah Hall (+105)
- Vicente Luque (-280) vs. Niko Price (+220)
- Charles Rosa (+155) vs. Bryce Mitchell (-185)
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.