Undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov 28-0, 8 KOs, 10 SUBs will defend his title against No. 1 contender Tony Ferguson 25-3, 12 KOs, 8 SUBs at UFC 249 on Saturday April, 18 at a location to be determined. The main card will air live on pay-per-view.
Someway, somehow, Dana White is making UFC 249 happen. This means that MMA’s most cursed fight - Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson - is moving forward, even as the world is shutting down.
Reminder: this is the fifth time that this fight has been booked. That it’s happening during the age of coronavirus is honestly a miracle. After all, this is still the same matchup that’s been derailed by injuries, exposed camera cables, and tiramisu. So forgive MMA fans if they’ve been on edge - this is THE fight that they’ve been waiting years to see and Mother Nature herself seems to want to put it on ice.
Right now, this is the only major sporting event that’s happening in North America. There is an entire country that is stuck indoors right now, drooling at the chance to watch any form of live athletic competition. ESPN is starving for content, with nothing but NFL free agency to cover. The UFC will never have a chance to get this kind of coverage again.
That attention extends to the online sportsbooks, where UFC 249 is one of the only things you can bet on. So while the card is still a few weeks away, we’re diving into the UFC odds at Betcris and breaking down your betting options - we’re gonna take a wild guess that you don’t have other things to bet on right now.
UFC Odds at Betcris
|UFC 249 Odds
|Khabib Nurmagomedov -315
|Tony Ferguson +238
Significant Striking Stats
- Strikes landed per minute: Nurmagomedov 4.29 / Ferguson 5.51
- Striking accuracy: Nurmagomedov 49% / Ferguson 44%
- Strikes absorbed per minute: Nurmagomedov 1.7 / Ferguson 3.55
- Striking defense: Nurmagomedov 66% / Ferguson 63%
UFC Grappling Stats
- Takedowns per 15 minutes: Nurmagomedov 5.09 / Ferguson 0.6
- Takedown defense: Nurmagomedov 84% / Ferguson 76%
- Submissions per 15 minutes: Nurmagomedov 0.59 / Ferguson 1.49
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The argument for Khabib: nobody has stopped his wrestling. He only needs one takedown to effectively win a fight, because each takedown afterward gets easier. We’ve seen warriors like Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor completely disheartened after spending long, hard rounds eating GNP and wasting energy trying to get back to the feet - only to get planted back on the mat.
The argument for Tony: he never. Gets. Tired. His cardio is his best weapon and it powers one of the most lethal, unpredictable offenses in the game. There is no telling what he’ll do, whether he’s on the feet or on his back. But whatever he does, he’s gonna do a lot of it - and force opponents to keep up. While all of Khabib’s opponents have tried to stay upright against him, Tony is the type of guy to pull guard and slice away with elbows. He’s legit crazy.
UFC Odds Pick: Fight doesn’t go to decision at -160
In the end, we just can’t pick against Khabib’s dominance - he is a generational fighter performing at his peak. But we can’t recommend the Russian at his current price either, which is why we’re rolling with the no decision prop. Nurmagomedov has earned consecutive finishes, displaying a killer instinct that wasn’t consistent before, and Tony has stopped nine opponents during his current 12-fight winning streak. Ferguson dials it up to 11 from the get go, which will lead to an early stoppage.
UFC Odds Pick: Ferguson by TKO +700
If you like playing high risk victory bets, this is what we’d go with. Ferguson is unlike any of Khabib’s past opponents, and there’s a chance that the Russian falls victim to El Cucuy’s savage offense.
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