UFC 249 still going ahead on April 18th, 2020 – Odds on Ferguson v Gaethje

Tony Ferguson v Justin Gaethje headlines UFC 249 on April 18th, 2020

Gaethje/ America ©imago images / ZUMA Press 09.04.2020

MMA fans will indeed get to see some action this month. It was announced this week that UFC 249 is going to go ahead. Despite the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, UFC topman Dana White has persisted in not cancelling the upcoming fight night.

UFC to be hosted at Tachi Fight Palace

UFC 249 was originally set to be held in California. However, the state has banned all combat sports because of the pandemic. So that left the UFC scrambling to find a venue. And they have.

UFA will be hosted behind closed doors on the Santa Rosa Indian Community.

It is at the Tachi Fight Palace that UFC 249 will be hosted. Because there is an in-house commission there, the fight doesn’t have to abide by the rules of the California State Athletic Commission. So the bouts can go ahead, despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje

Headlining UFC 249 is Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje and this is a title fight for the interim lightweight title.

Ferguson is the 8/15 odds-on favourite in UFC 249 betting with his opponent at 13/8* (betting odds taken from Bet365 at 00:32 GMT on Thursday, 9th April 2020).

Ferguson was always scheduled to be in action at UFC 249. However, he was supposed to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title in New York.

The state wouldn’t let that fight go ahead and the title battle has been put on the backburner.

Nurmagomedov wasn’t allowed to leave Russia either because of the CVID-19 lockdown, making it the fifth time that a fight planned between Ferguson and Nurmagomeov hadith difficulties.

Short Notice

So Tony Ferguson v Justin Gaethje isn’t quite the big headliner match that was supposed to be happening. In fact, Gaethje (21-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) has been quoted as saying that he is “terrified” about meeting Ferguson on such short notice.

Meeting Ferguson (25-3 MMA, 15-1 UFC) is not exactly an easy thing even when having had a full training camp.

Ferguson is on a twelve-match winning streak at the moment, the most recent of those successes happening June last year when he stopped Donald Cerrone in the second round.

UFC 294 Full Card – April 18th 2020

Lightweight: Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje
Women’s Strawweight: Jéssica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas
Heavyweight: Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro
Welterweight: Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price
Featherweight: Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar

As mentioned, the action will be behind closed doors. It has also been reported that the UFC will use the same Tachi Fight Palace venue to catch up on the three other UFC events which were cancelled due to the pandemic.