Best Bets for UFC 249 – Cejudo to Beat Cruz and More

By Adam Haynes in MMA & UFC
| May 5, 2020 4:11 am PDT
UFC 249 Best Bets

I hope you’re enjoying life as well as you can be with everything going on in the world. But if you are a little down in the dumps, why not check out what I believe are the UFC 249 best bets?

The first UFC event since what feels like an eternity goes down this Saturday, May 9, in Jacksonville, Florida. And what more could you possibly need to cheer you up?

I have four top UFC 249 bets you can make on the fights, and it would be extremely rude not to share them with you today. So, with that in mind, enjoy!

Ferguson to Beat Gaethje by KO/TKO/DQ (+240)

Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje is the main event of the evening. It is also a fight that needs no introduction, even to casual UFC fans. 

Ferguson comes into this fight off the back of a record-setting 12 straight wins. He has not lost a fight since May 2012 but will be in there with a real dog on May 9 in the form of the fabulously brutal Gaethje.

UFC 249 was initially set to go down on April 18, only for things to fall apart at the final hurdle. Gaethje took this fight on short notice, replacing Khabib Nurmagomedov, but will be delighted to have an additional three weeks’ preparation time. 

Stylistically, this has “classic” written all over it. Both men are true entertainers who love a bust-up. Ferguson is the more awkward, unpredictably, and creative striker, but Gaethje has that knockout power that can really turn a fight on its head.

Despite Ferguson having a very dangerous submission game, I don’t see this fight ending on the floor. Gaethje, a former NCAA first division wrestling standout, has also made it clear that he will be hunting for the KO. And why not? He has knocked out his last three opponents in the first round — Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza, and James Vick — and will want to keep that hot streak burning. 

Ferguson’s last three fights have also ended in stoppages. He has TKO wins over Cerrone and Anthony Pettis, as well as a submission victory over Kevin Lee.

Aside from a huge six-inch reach advantage over Gaethje, Ferguson will also have the benefit of a full camp. This, in my opinion, will be crucial to who wins this fight. In my opinion, those betting on Ferguson to knock Gaethje out should find their prediction to be the right one on the night. 

You can get odds of +240 with Betway on Ferguson beating Gaethje inside the distance. If you are not convinced, have a read of my Ferguson vs. Gaethje betting preview for more.

Cejudo to Beat Cruz (-235)

UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo welcomes a very important fighter back to the Octagon on Saturday night.

Dominick Cruz is one of the best bantamweights of all time. Well, I believe he is the best 135-pounder to ever do it, but will we see the same fighter? Cruz hasn’t competed since December 2016. A long time in anyone’s book.

The inaugural UFC bantamweight champion’s injury woes have deprived fans of his best years, but he is keen to show that he still has what it takes. Despite fighting just six times in the UFC, Cruz could become a three-time champion with a win over Cejudo.

But Cejudo is no laughing matter. This is the guy who effectively ended the most dominant championship run in the history of the promotion when he beat all-time great Demetrious Johnson in 2018. Johnson had 11 straight flyweight title defenses before that bout.

With his heart set on becoming a two-weight champion, Cejudo then stopped Marlon Moraes to take the bantamweight title. Despite being written off in most of the major fights in his career, Cejudo has managed to get the job done.

Although Cejudo will be fighting for just the second time at 135-pounds — and against a guy with exceptional footwork and skills such as Cruz — he is the favorite for a reason. He has been active when Cruz has been on the sidelines. More than this, he has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. 

Cruz is now 35 with an injury sheet as long as his right arm. While I would love to see him make history on Saturday night, I’m just not convinced that he can walk into the cage following absences and injuries and outwork Cejudo. He certainly won’t knock him out or submit him.

Cejudo has been in there with the best in the business over the past couple of years. I mean, he has beaten T.J. Dillashaw in one round, Moraes in two, and ended the UFC career of the legend that is Demetrious Johnson.

Surely he can’t pull this off? I talk more about this fight in my Cejudo vs. Cruz betting preview. Feel free to take a look at that if you need more convincing.

Ngannou to Beat Rozenstruik via KO/TKO (-150)

This is the third time that Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik has been scheduled, and it’s third time a charm for us UFC betting fans.

From a fanboy’s perspective, this fight is just ridiculous. You have the two most powerful heavyweights in the division right now ready to smack the heads off each other for your entertainment. This is modern-day gladiatorial warfare at its very best.

But who wins? A bet on Ngannou to knock Rozenstruik out will be a very common one. He is the hardest puncher in the sport and a knockout artist par excellence. The former Cameroonian sand miner has seven first-round stoppages from his last seven wins. That is a terrifying statistic.

Perhaps most impressive is that Ngannou has knocked out Junior Dos Santos, Cain Velasquez — two former UFC heavyweight champions — and Curtis Blaydes in Round One of his last three fights. So what makes Rozenstruik think he can beat The Predator?

Well, Rozenstruik has never tasted defeat as a professional. He comes into this fight with a perfect 10-0 record and knocked out Alistair Overeem with just four seconds remaining of his last fight. 

The former kickboxer would see his stock catapulted into orbit if he can beat Ngannou, but I’m not entirely sure that he can take his power. 

Get on Ngannou to knock out Rozenstruik at odds of -150.

Hardy vs. De Castro Under 1.5 Rounds (+130)

A lot has been made of Greg Hardy’s inexperience ahead of his matchup with Yorgan De Castro. Hardy turned pro in June 2018, having fought his first professional bout in November 2017.

But De Castro turned pro in the same year and month that Hardy took up the sport. Since then, the Cape Verdean has put together a record of 6-0, having enjoyed an up and down run in the amateurs. 

Hardy is 5-2-1 no contest in the pro ranks and has enjoyed a lot more of the spotlight given his notoriety in football as well as his private life. If not for an illegal knee and the use of an asthma inhaler, his record would surely be 7-1, with the only true loss of his career coming as a late replacement against the high-ranking Alexander Volkov.

Although Hardy is rough around the edges, he has shown that he can fight. He gave a good account of himself against Volkov, silencing his critics in the process. While he does tend to be a little careless with leaving his chin out, he has yet to be punished for doing so.

Both guys have impressive records, but Hardy is the bigger and more athletic guy. His work rate is excellent, and he is averaging 4.77 significant strikes per minute. At some point, he will catch De Castro and end the fight.

But even though I fancy Hardy to win this one, with these two guys, just one punch can end the contest. You can forget about seeing this one going to the judges’ scorecards, that’s for sure. 

Although I am backing Hardy to win this one, the odds for the fight to end before the 1.5 round mark are appealing.

I’ll take this one, thank you very much.

Are These the Best UFC 249 Bets?

Well, these are four of the best bets I have come across for the action at UFC 249 this Saturday. 

With the leading UFC betting sites offering all kinds of markets for UFC 249, I will be taking a look at some other bets over the course of the next few days. For instance, I have found some excellent value bets that you might be interested in, so make sure to bookmark our MMA betting blog to get your hands on those and much more.

Good luck with your bets!

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