Ferguson and Gaethje set to headline UFC 249

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April 28th, 2020

While it’s not quite "Fight Island," it’s finally fight night, as UFC 249 prepares to broadcast from parts unknown. Tony Ferguson and Justin Gathje will face off for the interim lightweight title in a bout that should bring the UFC back in grand style.

Check out how the opera of violence will unfold here at BetAmerica.

Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje odds

Tony Ferguson
Justin Gaethje

Ferguson and Gaethje have been unbeatable lately

Both Ferguson and Gaethje come into this fight on a hot streak.

Ferguson has won his last 12 fights, with only three going the distance, while Gaethje’s last three opponents haven’t made it out of the first round.

While it is disappointing Ferguson won’t get his shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov, fans will get a barbaric clash in its place.

If it comes down to being a battle of wills, Ferguson is the more capable striker and has shown effectiveness in his unorthodox approach. Nothing about Ferguson is textbook. He is tremendously difficult to read and has been successful against fighters of all types during his monumental streak.

Gaethje doesn’t bring anything to the table that will trouble Ferguson. While he can crack, Ferguson’s has a world-class chin.

Expect Gaethje’s wrestling to be a factor

Conventional wisdom suggests that Gaethje’s wrestling background and his youth should factor into his game plan. He'll try to drag Ferguson down and smother him with shots before Ferguson can find his rhythm. While that would work for a more disciplined grappler, Gaethje has plenty of faith in his power and will forgo the methodical approach.

Gaethje’s offense won’t work against Ferguson

Gaethje’s kill-or-be-killed offense won’t be effective against Ferguson. A come-forward approach plays right into Ferguson's hands.

Gaethje won’t be able to defend shots coming from odd angles and will get touched up repeatedly before Ferguson clips him. Even if Gaethje gets Ferguson on the ground, Gaethje hasn’t scored a submission in almost seven years. Ferguson has also been focusing on ground defense ahead of a match with Nurmagomedov, before Gaethje stepped in on short notice.

Expect this to be fun while it lasts, but it won’t last long. Though Ferguson may not be able to get the job done against Nurmagomedov, he is going to have another spectacular performance against Gaethje. A chippy first round will see both men land hard and often, but Ferguson will get the better of the exchanges and overpower Gaethje for a second-round stoppage.

MMA free pick: Ferguson (-185)

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