By now you’ve seen or heard about the UFC 249 fight card. Well, if you haven’t, then you are obviously not an MMA fan or you’re sleeping under a rock. Yes, I get it, we are in quarantine, but I’m sure you’ve seen a computer screen. The entire UFC 249 fight card is stacked. Many say it’s the best UFC fight card of all time. That doesn’t mean there are a few fights flying under the radar. I will give you my two sleeper picks for UFC 249 Fight of the Night.
UFC 249 Fight of the Night Sleeper Picks
Bryce Mitchell vs. Charles Rosa
Mitchell (12-0) is undefeated in his professional career at 12-0 and 3-0 inside the octagon. In his first fight post-TUF, Mitchell earned Fight of the Night honors with a decision victory over Bobby Moffett. In his next bout, he earned a Performance of the Night bonus and many outlets gave him 2019 Submission of the Year for his twister submission against Matt Sayles.
I don’t think I’ve seen Rosa (12-3) in a boring fight. In three of his six UFC outings, the American Top Team product has earned Fight of the Night honors. In his most recent bout, Rosa tapped out Manny Bermudez with a slick armbar at UFC on ESPN 6 in late 2019.
This fight has fireworks written all over it. Both men are aces on the ground, Mitchell’s nine finishes have come via submission. While Rosa has three knockouts and 8 submissions on his resume.
Carla Esparza vs. Michelle Waterson
The number seven ranked Carla Esparza will square off against the number eight ranked Michelle Waterson on the ESPN preliminary portion of the UFC 249 fight card. These two ladies throw caution to the wind every time they enter the octagon, so don’t expect anything less on May 9.
Esparza (15-6) was the first-ever UFC women’s strawweight champion but has hit some roadblocks since that bout. She recently bounced back from a two-fight losing skid to win two in a row. Most recently “Cookie Monster” earned a majority decision and Fight of the Night honors against Alexa Grasso at UFC on ESPN+ 17.
Waterson (17-7) is coming off a decision loss to former strawweight queen Joanna Jędrzejczyk in October of last year, however, prior to that blemish was riding a three-fight winning streak. “The Karate Hottie” has never won a FOTN bonus under the UFC banner but earned two when she was fighting for Invicta FC.
One of these two will be close to the top five in the division with a victory and knocking on the contenders door. So expect them to give it their all in what could easily be Fight of the Night.