- UFC 249 will still happen “somewhere on Earth” on April 18
- Ferguson will battle Gaethje for the interim lightweight title
- Read on for odds and predictions for the fight below
After Khabib Nurmagomedov had to withdraw from his UFC 249 fight against Tony Ferguson due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all signs pointed to the event not happening. Yet, UFC president Dana White is stubborn and was adamant the event would happen and it appears it will after the Las Vegas-based promotion announced a new main event.
On Monday, the UFC announced Tony Ferguson would fight Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title. It is no doubt a fascinating bout where the winner will get a shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov. With the fight being official, odds have been released where “El Cucuy” is a slight betting favorite.
Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje Odds
Odds taken April 6
Where Will UFC 249 Take Place?
As of this moment, UFC 249 does not have an announced location and White has said he won’t tell any media where the location is because he believes they will try to shut them down. According to several reports and from what I’ve heard as well, the event will take place in the United States and on the West Coast, but Florida continues to be brought up.
The fight is signed and is 100% ON LIVE on ESPN somewhere on EARTH!!!! 😃@TonyFergusonXT vs @Justin_Gaethje is LIVE on @espn+ PPV April 18th for the interim lightweight belt! pic.twitter.com/aH44zg5K30
— danawhite (@danawhite) April 6, 2020
With athletic commissions likely to try and shut down this event, it will most likely be on Tribal lands. But, as White put, UFC 249 will happen on April 18 “somewhere on Earth.”
Why Gaethje even has to step up on short notice is due to the fact Nurmagomedov couldn’t get out of Russia due to the travel bans. It is a unique time in the sports world but Ferguson has been preparing for months and still wanted to fight and Gaethje is the most logical opponent.
How Will The Odds Change?
When this fight was rumored to be happening at this event I figured the odds would be around -150 for Tony Ferguson given he is the fighter on the winning streak and has been preparing for the date. Gaethje is stepping in on short notice so how his cardio will be is a major question mark.
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) April 6, 2020
Although I thought -150 for Ferguson is fair, I would not be surprised if we see it come down to a near pick ’em fight given Gaethje has one-punch knockout power and we’ve seen El Cucuy be dropped and hurt in multiple fights. Ferguson is also the more known fighter but I wouldn’t be surprised to see bettors lay money on the underdog in Gaethje and make this line around -120 for Ferguson when the two step into the Octagon.
What’s the Best Bet?
I really like Tony Ferguson in this fight as his jiu-jitsu is better than Gaethje and he is the more technical striker while “The Highlight” has the knockout power. But, Ferguson should be able to make this like Gaethje’s fight against Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez where Gaethje had success early but starts to fade and ends up losing by TKO.
I like Ferguson to win this fight by third or fourth-round TKO and at -152 I still think there is value there. But, if the line goes past the -160 mark I think you may very well be looking at a dog or pass situation.
Pick: Tony Ferguson (-152)