UFC 249: Writers Pick’s

Mixed martial arts returns this weekend with UFC 249 set to take place in Jacksonville, Florida. The star studded event will be the first live show to take place since the outbreak of COVID-19 and fans in lockdown around the world will be treated to multiple high profile bouts as well as two championship fights this Saturday night.

Tony Ferguson’s quest to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov is the most cursed storyline in the history of the sport, with the champion this time falling victim to travel restrictions due to this pandemic. In his place, the former World Series of Fighting Lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje, will meet ‘El Cucuy’ this weekend for the Interim Lightweight belt.

In the co-main event, Henry Cejudo will defend his bantamweight title against the returning and former two time champion Dominick Cruz. Cruz comes off a layoff that’s just under four years and will face a tough task in dethroning one of the best pound for pound fighters on the planet in Cejudo.

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Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik are set to meet in a potential number one contender eliminator fight in the Heavyweight division. Also, Jeremy Stephens and Calvin Kattar will square off at 145-pounds. Greg Hardy will also meet his fellow Contender Series alum Yorgan de Castro to open up the main card.

Check out our writers predictions for the UFC 249 main card below:

 

Jason Farrell (@JayFarrell_1)

Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje; Gaethje, TKO, Rd. 2

“A tough fight for both competitors, and although I feel Tony has more tools to win this one, something just tells me Gaethje was placed here to spoil the party that Ferguson & champion Nurmagomedov are due to host at some point. I see Gaethje catching Ferguson early in the second and becomes the 155lbs interim champ.”

Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz; Dominick Cruz via UD

“With how impressive Cejudo has been of late it is hard to see how someone coming off a 3+ year layoff  could go in and snatch the gold from his waist. But someone who has a history of coming off long layoff’s and looking better than ever is Dominick Cruz. Cruz has made a living off beating shorter fighters and I fancy him to repeat that pattern this weekend and become a three time bantamweight champ.”

Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik; Francis Ngannou via KO, Rd. 1

Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar; Calvin Kattar via UD

Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro; Greg Hardy via KO, Rd. 2

Arion Armeniakos (@ArionArmeniakos)

Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje; Justin Gaethje via R4 KO

“I have a funny feeling that Gaethje might come into this one and shock the world. He is super tough and has the durability to hang around with Tony, and then with his power — all it takes is one.”

Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz; Dominick Cruz via Decision

“I think people are underestimating the former champ. Cruz has been excellent coming off layoffs in his career and I think he will grind this one out by outpointing Cejudo from range.”

Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik; Francis Ngannou via KO, Rd. 1

Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar; Calvin Kattar via Decision

Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro; Yorgan De Castro via KO, Rd.1

Caoilte de Barra (@CaoiltedeBarra)

Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje; Justin Gaethje via TKO, Rd. 3

“This is Gaethje’s shot to cement his legacy in the UFC by winning a title. I think these type of moments will bring out the best in him. Ferguson isn’t one to back down either so I can see these two going toe to toe but I believe that Gaethje comes out on top with a stoppage.”

 

Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz; Dominick Cruz via Split Decision
“A lot of people are unhappy with Dominick Cruz getting a title shot but I actually think he wins this. He is one of the greatest minds in MMA and he is a joy to watch. I think we see him put on a masterclass over 5 rounds and picking up the decision. I think it’ll be close with Cejudo’s pedigree but Cruz outpoints him.”

Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik; Francis Ngannou via KO, Rd. 3

Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar;  Calvin Kattar via Decision

Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro; Yorgan de Castro via Decision

Michael O’Shea (@Knobs11)

Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje; Tony Ferguson via Sub, Rd. 3

“I think Gaethje needs to get the TKO early or it’s bust for him. While Tony does tend to get hit, I think he survives the early Gaethje onslaught and wraps up a tired Gaethje with a submission late in the third round.”
Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz; Henry Cejudo via TKO, Rd. 4
“I love Dominick Cruz but this feels like its too much for him. I think Cejudo will have a cardio edge and I can’t trust Dom’s body to hold up. I would love to be proven wrong but Henry will win by TKO, ground and pound stoppage in the fourth.”

Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik; Francis Ngannou via Sub, Rd.1

Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar; Calvin Kattar via TKO, Rd. 2

Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro; Greg Hardy via Decision

Reece Williams (@ReeceManUFC)

Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje; Tony Ferguson via TKO, Rd. 4

“I think Tony’s unorthodox striking and ground work will grind on Justin and will get a late finish.”
Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz; Henry Cejudo via Unanimous Decision
“Inactivity will hurt Cruz against someone like Henry who has been on a rampage of late.”

Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik; Francis Ngannou via KO, Rd. 1

Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar; Calvin Kattar via Unanimous Decision

Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro; Greg Hardy via KO, Rd.2

Mitchell Ivy (@MitchellIvy_)

Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje; Justin Gaethje via Unanimous Decision

“All of us want Tony to win so we can keep ahold of Tony vs. Khabib, but ‘The Highlight’ is here to ruin the party.”
Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz; Henry Cejudo via TKO, Rd. 4
“Triple C will defend his Bantamweight throne, with yet another win over another legend.”

Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik; Francis Ngannou via KO, Rd.

Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar; Calvin Kattar via TKO, Rd. 3

Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro; Yorgan de Castro via KO, Rd. 2

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