- There are a lot of unique UFC 249 Props popping up ahead of Saturday’s card
- Can two UFC legends make successful comebacks after being out of action for years?
- Scroll below for your UFC 249 props, my analysis, and my predictions on what the best bets are
UFC 249 prop bets are popping up ahead of this weekend’s fistic festivities. The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns from a bit of a hiatus and is coming back with a bang.
The event is cartoonishly stacked with many pundits and fans alike theorizing that this could be the greatest card of all time. On paper, it has a case for being one of the more stacked events ever.
There are a lot of curious prop bets, like who will bleed first, if fighters will mention COVID/ coronavirus in their post-fight interview, and even wackier ones than that. But out of the multitude of great options, these were the ones I found most promising.
UFC 249 Props: #1 Fabricio Werdum to Win Inside Distance
Odds taken on May 4th
Werdum has been out of competition for over two years but I see him returning with style points. Though the former UFC heavyweight champion’s last fight was a stoppage loss to Alexander Volkov, I think he will come back with renewed vigor. It also helps that his UFC 249 opponent Alexey Oleinik is arguably one of the more favorable stylistic matches for Werdum among the heavyweight top 10.
Ainda entre as preliminares, o retorno do brasileiro ex-campeão peso pesado Fabrício Werdum (@FabricioWerdum) é muito aguardado. O 'Vai Cavalo' que pesou 110,2 kg, enfrentará o russo Alexey Oleinik, que bateu 103,2 kg na balança. #UFC249 pic.twitter.com/K9BdjCUzC9
— Dario Ferrari (@darioferrariMMA) May 8, 2020
The reason I say that is because Oleinik generally is geared towards finishing his opponents via submission. To submit a multi-time grappling world champion the caliber of Werdum is as close to impossible of a happening as I could draft for mixed-martial arts.
The grappling game of the two will cancel out and I theorize this one will play out at kickboxing range. I think Fabricio Werdum is a fair bit more proficient in that realm of the game. His Muay Thai proficiency and finishing ability in the standup has improved greatly in the last few years of his competitive career and I expect that to shine through on Saturday night. I can see Vai Cavalo winning inside the distance via TKO or KO.
Pick: Yes (-170)
UFC 249 Props: #2 Dominick Cruz to Win by Decision
It’s bold to predict that a fighter who has been inactive for close to three and a half years can return and win a championship but Dominick Cruz is a true anomaly. It has been a while since Cruz stepped into the octagon, losing his belt to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207.
One might think that rust would be a factor but one only needs to recall when Cruz won his second UFC bantamweight championship. He defeated TJ Dillashaw in January 2016 after over four years largely on the sidelines (outside of a September 2014 win over Takeya Mizugaki in 61 seconds). A precedent for a grand comeback has been set by the man himself.
TWO DAYS! 🔥
— UFC (@ufc) May 7, 2020
Henry Cejudo is a huge test and has been a two-division world champion in UFC (flyweight and is the reigning/ defending bantamweight champion). Cejudo is also a former Olympic gold medalist, aiming to be the greatest combat athlete ever and looking to add Cruz to his resume. Dominick Cruz is seen by many as the greatest 135 pounder of all time and I think he underscores that notion further on Saturday night.
Pick: Yes (+200)
UFC 249 Props: #3 Francis Ngannou to Win in Round 1
This one looks like it will be an absolute slugfest, on paper. Both men have incredible KOs to their credit with Rozenstruik recently asserting himself on the scene in a big way. Just a few months ago, Rozenstruik wasn’t much in top contender talks but has since shifted the dialogue. This came with emphatic finishes of former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski and Strikeforce/ Dream/ K1 champion Alistair Overeem.
Francis Ngannou by KO is another really solid play to me. In terms of pure power, Ngannou is unmatched. Just listen to the sound of these shots against Junior Dos Santos’ head. One clean outside hook from Ngannou will end Jair Rozenstruik’s night. #UFC249 pic.twitter.com/x074u1I095
— Nick Stavas (@nickstavas) May 8, 2020
Ngannou has carved out a path as one of UFC’s all-time scariest KO artists. His last three KO wins over Junior dos Santos, Cain Velasquez, and Curtis Blaydes lasted a combined 2:22. This has all the makings for a number one contender matchup. Despite rampant uncertainty with the division and the world at large. There’s a tremendous amount of parity in heavyweight MMA but I lean slightly more towards The Predator. I think Ngannou gets a fourth consecutive first-round stoppage win.
Pick: Yes (+160)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.