UFC 249 will take place from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 9, 2020. While both the Early Prelims and Prelims offer some enticing matchups that are worthy of a spot on a bigger platform, the Main Card is stacked with some contests that will have significant ramifications moving ahead.
Today we're going to be looking for prop pick opportunities, to help you out with Monkey Knife Fight's contests. If you are new to MKF, you can get a $50 bonus just by signing up through the above link.
Two titles will be up for grabs on Saturday night, with Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje battling it out for the Interim Lightweight Title. At the same time, Henry Cejudo will square off with Dominick Cruz for the Bantamweight Title. Also, the big fellas will be in action as two heavyweight bouts are scheduled, with Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro on the card, two contests that could be main events somewhere down the line. Veterans Jeremy Stephens and Calvin Katter will also go toe-to-toe as both men look to get back on the winning path. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DennisMClausen. Be sure to also check out our DraftKings and FanDuel MMA DFS picks articles. Enjoy the card and good luck RotoBallers.Editor's Note: Our new Premium MMA tools include DFS Cheat Sheets, a powerful Research Station, and the DFS Lineup Optimizer. Check them out! VIEW TOOLS
Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro
This one is going to be a slugfest for sure as these two bulls are going to enter the octagon looking to hit a home run. There may be a small feeling out period within the first minute or so, but once both of these hosses get swinging, there is no turning back.
Both men aren't exactly known for their finesse, making it plausible that this one could end very, very quickly, possibly within the first round, via knockout or ref stoppage. Either way, don't look for this matchup to last long enough for either combatant to hit the over, or at least it may seem based on past performances.
Picks: Hardy - 137.5 (under), De Castro - 120.5 (under)
Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvan Kattar
In the only Featherweight bout on the card, Jeremy Stephens and Calvin Kattar will both be looking to avenge losses, with the former going winless in his previous four fights, while the latter is coming off a decision defeat to Zabit Magomedsharipov back in November.
While both fighters are competent wrestlers and decent grapplers, they have no problem leaving their fates in the hands of the judges in a bout that should feature plenty of strikes, significant strikes, and knockdowns.
Picks: Stepehns - 165.5 (over), Kattar - 270.5 (over)
Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
This is a battle where the winner may punch their ticket for a Heavyweight title shot as these guys are coming in riding win streaks. Just like in the Hardy vs. De Castro fight, expect plenty of punches to go around.
Both combatants have solid takedown defense -- if one of them chooses to attempt one -- and have solid chins as well. As a result, I don't expect this one to end as quickly as the other Heavyweight bout on the night, making the over the right way to go.
Picks: Ngannou - 95.5 (over), Rozenstruik - 82.5 (over)
Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz
Cejudo will defend his Bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz, who is replacing Jose Aldo while attempting to come back from a three-year layoff. Cruz's last fight occurred all the way back at UFC 207 in December of 2016, losing to Cody Garbrandt via unanimous decision.
Both have demonstrated the ability to go the distance over the years, but an extended absence by Cruz should make this battle end quicker than anticipated, which ultimately will leave little room to hit the over.
Picks: Cejudo - 360.5 (under), Cruz - 220.5 (under)
Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje
For the Interim Lightweight Title, Ferguson and Gaethje will square off, with the winner likely to face Khabib Nurmagomedov hopefully sometime during the summer. Ferguson hasn't lost since 2012, while Gaethje has been impressive in his own right, winning his last three fights all within the first round.
Though it is hard to pick a winner as this one could go either way, I just don't see it lasting long enough for anyone to hit the over.
Picks: Ferguson- 380.5 (under), Gaethje - 297.5 (under)