The UFC hopes to return from its month-long hiatus on May 9 with a revamped UFC 249 card that will feature the original main event clash. Tony Ferguson is set to take on Justin Gaethje for the interim UFC lightweight title as an early -170 betting favourite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Ferguson is coming off a second-round TKO victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC 238 as a -235 wager, and takes his UFC-record 12-fight winning streak in the lightweight division into next month’s matchup at a venue to be announced, expected to be in Florida.
Originally scheduled to face reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at last month’s event, Ferguson has been dominant during his current win streak. The 36-year-old American has finished opponents on nine occasions during that stretch, including six victories by submission, to improve his professional MMA record to 25-3.
Gaethje is pegged as a +140 underdog at sports betting sites as he prepares for his first shot at a UFC title since joining the promotion three years ago. Gaethje also faced Cerrone in his last outing, ending Cowboy’s night with an opening-round TKO at UFC Fight Night 158, paying out on -175 odds while also claiming his third Performance of the Night bonus in six UFC contests.
Gaethje’s victory over Cerrone marked his third straight first-round finish. But while the 31-year-old Arizona native now sports an impressive 21-2 pro MMA record, each of his two career defeats have come since his arrival in the UFC, and include knockout losses to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez.
A scheduled battle for the UFC women’s featherweight title between reigning UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and former Invicta FC Featherweight champion Felicia Spencer has been pulled from next month’s card. However, the UFC has filled the void with an epic matchup, as Henry Cejudo puts his UFC bantamweight title on the line against former champion Dominick Cruz as a -250 favourite on the UFC odds.
Currently riding a five-fight win streak, Cejudo claimed the UFC bantamweight crown with a third-round TKO win over Marlon Moraes at UFC 238 as a +135 underdog to improve his pro MMA record as a bantamweight to an unblemished 6-0.
Considered by many to be the greatest bantamweight fighter of all time, Cruz returns to the octagon after a near four-year absence lagging as a +195 underdog. The 35-year-old saw his six-year reign atop the bantamweight division end with a unanimous decision loss to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 2017, which also ended a 13-fight win streak that dated back to 2007.