Even with the world of sports being severely impacted by the spread of COVID-19, UFC President Dana White is looking to push forward and put on events for MMA fans. Even though the UFC 249 event will be held in front of no fans at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, there is still a stacked fight card that fans will be able to enjoy from their homes. So let’s take a look at the most anticipated fights that will take place Saturday night.
Featured Prelim fight: Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone
Both “Showtime” Pettis and “Cowboy” Cerrone will be coming into UFC 249 with a loss in their previous fights back in January. These two will most likely look to keep the fight on the feet and go for the TKO victory. Although Cerrone is getting up there in age (37 years old), Cowboy always seems to shine when the bright lights come on. These two will surely put on a show that will get everybody hyped for the main card that will follow.
Prediction: Cerrone via decision
Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro
The opening fight of the main card will be the first of two heavyweight fights in the primetime slot. De Castro comes into this fight undefeated in his professional career, yet he seems to be getting overlooked in this matchup. De Castro came from the contender series, and even though he has just one UFC win under his belt, De Castro could very well steal the show Saturday night.
Prediction: De Castro via decision
Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar
Jeremy Stephens has been in a bit of slump. His last win was back in February of 2018 against Josh Emmett. While Kattar has a strong 20-4 professional record and has both the knockout power to stop the fight at any time, as well as the stamina to outlast his opponent and get a decision victory.
Prediction: Katter via TKO.
Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
This fight is going to be scary. Ngannou has been taking the heavyweight division by storm, while Rozenstruik is a rising star and could very well be the future of the heavyweight division. Both of these two fighters have scary knockout power and can turn the lights out on even the toughest opponents. This fight is going to end quick, and someone is gonna get knocked out.
Prediction: I can’t pick, these two dudes scare me.
Co-main event for bantamweight title: Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz
Henry Cejudo, the king of cringe, is back and will defend his bantamweight title. Cruz is getting up from the commentary table and getting back into the octagon to once again attempt to rule the bantamweight division. Cruz is the MMA version of a five-tool player, he can knock people out, he can tap people out, he can win a fight from the judges score cards. While for as cringy as Cejudo can be, he is one of the best fighters the UFC has to offer. This fight is going to be great, but Cruz’s length and reach could be the factor that makes him victorious in Jacksonville.
Prediction: Cruz wins via decision
Main Event for Interim lightweight title: Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje
While the fight that fans have been truly waiting for (Ferguson vs. Khabib) will be put on hold again, the lightweight division will crown a new champion after Saturday night. Ferguson is so unpredictable when he is inside the octagon, there is nothing that he can’t do, while Gaethje is one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC. This fight will most likely go to the judges’ scorecards, which means fans get five rounds of the best fighters in the world going at it.
Prediction: Ferguson via decision.
You can watch UFC 249 on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. EST. The main card begins at 10 p.m. on ESPN+ pay-per-view.