UFC has finally made it official that the much-awaited UFC 249 will take place on May 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. To the delight of MMA fans, the organisation will also hold events on 13th and 16th May at the same venue.
The company revealed the full fight card for UFC 249 just a while back on its official website. It also mentioned that future cards will be revealed later. As per guidelines, the events will remain closed for the general public. Dana White has released a statement stating that he can’t wait to deliver some great fights for the fans. Furthermore, he added that his team is ready and the fighters are excited to be back in action.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry added that the event is symbolic of the fact that situation is getting back to normal. Florida State Boxing Commission Executive Director, Patrick Cunningham, welcomed the UFC to the Sunshine State. He reiterated that the health and safety of the people involved will be a priority. The UFC decided to go with Florida as the new location after the Governer issued a memo adding sports without an audience as an essential service.
The headliner of the event will be the fight for the interim Lightweight belt between Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson. Ferguson will look to become the first two-time UFC Lightweight interim champ. “El Cucuy” is riding a twelve fight winning streak, having fought almost all the big names in the division. He is the best fighter on the UFC roster to have never competed for the undisputed belt.
On the other hand, Justin Gaethje is coming off three back-to-back knockout victories. “The Highlight” has earned a name for himself for putting up exciting fights. However, he is still a nightmare matchup for opponents with his heavy hands and knockout ability.
The other title fight will have the UFC Bantamweight belt on the line with Henry Cejudo attempting to retain it against former champ Dominick Cruz. Cejudo has been the face of both the Flyweight and the Bantamweight division after capturing both the belts. Having relinquished the 125-pounds gold, “Triple C” is focussed solely upon the Bantamweight division. He only wants to have legacy fights at the moment.
Dominick Cruz presents the perfect opportunity for Cejudo to build his legacy. The former champ is one the most technically sound fighters in the UFC. However, injuries have prevented him from reaching his full potential. Coming back after a layoff of three years, Cruz will be looking to rewrite a comeback story for the ages.
While the championship bouts will come later one, the UFC has tried to ensure that it makes a proper build-up to it as well. The card is stacked as far as the eyes go. No. 2 ranked Heavyweight contender, Francis Ngannou will meet the undefeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a fight that guarantees fireworks. However, fans will be crossing their fingers that the fight doesn’t suffer the same fate as Ngannou vs Lewis.
Featherweight contenders Jeremy Stephens and Calvin Kattar will look to make some noise in the division when they collide at UFC 249. After losing to Conor McGregor, Donald Cerrone is looking to make a quick turnaround. He will be fighting Anthony Pettis in the Welterweight division. The fight is a definite fan favourite as Cerrone will look to come out of a losing streak.
Controversial Heavyweight and former NFL star, Greg Hardy will have his task cut out for him as he will square off against undefeated Yorgan De Castro. Another promising Heavyweight encounter includes a fight between Aleksei Oleinik and former champ Fabricio Werdum.
Veteran Sam Alvey will square off against Ryan Spann in the Light Heavyweight division. Former champ Carla Esparza will battle Michelle Waterson in the Women’s Strawweight division. Uriah Hall will look to make a quest towards the Middleweight gold when he fights the Brazilian, Jacare Souza.
Vincent Loque and Niko Price will meet in a clash of Welterweight finishers. Wrapping up the card, featherweight grapplers Bryce Mitchell will meet Charles Rosa.
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