With the VyStar Arena in Jacksonville, Florida finally being confirmed as the venue for UFC 249, let’s take a look at the card for the May 9th UFC event.
UFC 249 saga finally comes to an end
After a long saga filled with numerous attempts at putting on the event in different venues, across many different states, the UFC 249 event, originally scheduled for April 18th, will be held on May 9th, the originally scheduled date for UFC 250. The event originally planned for April 18th, at the Barclays Center in New York City, has now been moved to the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Meanwhile, the original UFC 250 event in São Paulo, Brazil, has been officially postponed. As the Jacksonville venue will reportedly host a number of UFC events in the coming days and weeks after UFC 249.
Numerous UFC events cancelled
Following UFC 248, the coronavirus pandemic caused the UFC to change their event plans numerous times. The first was having to hold UFC Fight Night 170 on March 14th in Brasília, Brazil, behind closed doors. The following week’s event UFC London, featuring the headline fight of Tyron Woodley vs Leon Edwards, was eventually called off. Soon after UFC London was cancelled, the March 28th ‘UFC on ESPN 8‘ event in Columbus, Ohio was called off. As well as the ‘UFC Fight Night 172‘ event on April 11th in Portland, Oregon.
The original April 18th event in New York was then moved to Tachi Palace in California; but was soon cancelled due to outside pressure from California State officials, imploring ESPN that the event be called off, due to lockdown restrictions in the state. When it was announced that the April 18th event was called off, ‘UFC Fight Night 173‘ scheduled for April 25th in Lincoln, Nebraska, was also called off. Along with UFC Fight Night 174 in Oklahoma.
UFC 249, new date and venue confirmed
It was announced on April 24th by UFC president Dana White, that the new date and venue for the rescheduled UFC 249 was confirmed, with the event taking place in Jacksonville, on May 9th. The official card for UFC 249 would be made up of multiple fights, some of which would include fights from the events previously mentioned, that were cancelled due to the coronavirus.
The new UFC 249 fight card
The UFC 249 card includes fights from the previously cancelled April 18th’s UFC 249 event, the cancelled UFC 250 event to be held in Brazil, as well as previously cancelled fights from various cancelled events in March and April.
UFC 250 Fights
The two fights originally scheduled to take place on May 9th in Brazil include; The return of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabrício Werdum vs Alexey Oleynik. As well as the UFC Bantamweight Championship being defended by Henry Cejudo, as he takes on the returning veteran Dominick Cruz. Cruz steps in as a replacement for Jose Aldo, who was unable to make the event, due to the COVID19 travel restrictions.
April 18th – UFC 249 Fights
A number of fights from the original UFC 249 card will not happen. The second card announced for UFC 249, which included a number of fights from previously called off fights, will still be apart of the new UFC 249 event in Jacksonville.
The heavyweight bout between Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, which was originally scheduled for UFC on ESPN 8 in Columbus, will take place at UFC 249. Another heavyweight tilt moved from that event onto the new card, will be Greg Hardy vs Yorgan de Castro.
A featherweight fight between Jeremy Stephens and Calvin Kattar was to take place at UFC 248 but was cancelled in January due to Stephens pulling out due to an injury. This fight will now take place will now take on May 9th. Also in the featherweight division, Bryce Mitchell and Charles Rosa will face off.
Welterweights Vicente Luque and Niko Price were both set to take on different opponents at the cancelled April 11th card. They will now face each other on the May 9th card.
Light heavyweight Sam Alvey was originally scheduled to fight Khalil Rountree on March 28th. Alvey will now face Ryan Spann at the new UFC 249 event.
Women’s strawweight Carla Esparza will take on Michelle Waterson in a fight that was originally scheduled for April 11th.
Interesting Fight Added
There is only one fight that includes fighters not previously scheduled to perform in the lead up to the May 9th event is Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone taking on Anthony Pettis.
The two met previously in January of 2013 at UFC on FOX 6. Cerrone is coming off three straight losses, as he takes on the former WEC and UFC Lightweight champion in ‘Showtime’ Pettis. Pettis is coming off two back to back losses of his own, including an underwhelming performance vs C.D Ferreira in January at UFC 246.
This is an interesting fight, mostly because neither guy can afford to take another straight loss. However, regardless of the outcome, both fighters should be rewarded in the future, for taking part in such an unprecedented event. The Cerrone vs Pettis bout will be the headlining fight of the preliminary card.
Full Card and Current Odds
Opening Preliminary Card (on ESPN+)
Vicente Luque (-254) vs. Niko Price (+242)
Bryce Mitchell (-172) vs. Charles Rosa (+158)
Ryan Spann (-370) vs. Sam Alvey (+325)
Preliminary Card (on ESPN)
Donald Cerrone (+120) vs. Anthony Pettis (-130)
Alexey Oleynik (+263) vs. Fabrício Werdum (-300)
Carla Esparza (-139) vs. Michelle Waterson (+129)
Uriah Hall (+110) vs. Ronaldo Souza (-117)
Main Card (on PPV via ESPN+)
Interim UFC Lightweight Championship
Tony Ferguson (-162) vs. Justin Gaethje
UFC Bantamweight Championship
(C) Henry Cejudo (-218) vs. Dominick Cruz (+210)
Francis Ngannou (-266) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+241)
Jeremy Stephens (+210) vs. Calvin Kattar (-230)
Greg Hardy (-175) vs. Yorgan de Castro (+164)
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