Despite the challenging circumstances surrounding sporting events during the coronavirus pandemic, Tony Ferguson insisted he would be ready to fight when called upon. The UFC’s top-ranked lightweight took recent measures to prove it and is scheduled to face Justin Gaethje for the interim title on May 9. The promotion has yet to announce a venue for the card, but has announced it will take place after four previously scheduled stops were canceled because of the pandemic.

Ferguson showed he was prepared by weighing in at the lightweight limit of 155 pounds last Friday, which would have been the scheduled weigh-in for his originally-planned bout for the since-canceled UFC 249. His match against the fourth-ranked Gaethje is one of two title bouts on the proposed May 9 UFC card. Ferguson was a -200 favorite (risk $200 to win $100), while Gaethje was offered at +170 before UFC 249 was axed. Before you lock in any picks for the May 9 UFC fight card, make sure you check out the latest UFC predictions from SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley.

Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up nearly $19,000.

At UFC 248, Marley told SportsLine members to expect middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (-275) to retain his title against Yoel Romero (+235) by unanimous decision. He argued that Adesanya would pick Romero apart on the feet and was proven correct, as the champ dominated the action with leg kicks while dodging Romero’s explosive power. Also, Marley went a stunning 9-2-1 at UFC Fight Night 170, the last UFC event. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.

Now, with the UFC May 9 event fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every fight. Those selections are only available at SportsLine.

Gaethje vs. Ferguson preview 

Marley knows the 36-year-old Ferguson (25-3) comes in on a 12-fight winning streak and hasn’t lost since May 2012. He is revered for his fearlessness and ability to win through a variety of MMA disciplines. Six of his last eight victories have come by stoppage, including a TKO of Donald Cerrone last year and a submission of Anthony Pettis in October 2018. The top-ranked Ferguson briefly held the interim belt after beating Kevin Lee by submission in October 2017.

Ferguson faces a challenge from the No. 4-ranked Gaethje (21-2), the former World Series of Fighting champion who has been waiting for a title opportunity amid a crowded division. It is believed the winner of the May 9 main event will get to challenge the Russian champ for the unified title.

Gaethje, 31, is known for his knockout power and relentless aggression. He started his UFC campaign with a 1-2 mark, but has since won three straight bouts by first-round knockout. He stopped Cerrone in September 2019. Gaethje has 18 knockouts among his 21 career MMA victories and only gone to a decision twice in his career. See Marley’s picks for Ferguson vs. Gaethje and every fight on the upcoming UFC card here.

Top May 9 UFC predictions

We’ll share one of Marley’s selections for the May 9 UFC card here: He is backing Calvin Kattar (-270) to get the best of Jeremy Stephens (+220) in a clash of featherweight contenders. 

Kattar (20-4) has gone 4-2 in six UFC bouts. The 32-year old Massachusetts native was climbing the ranks in the division before he saw his momentum stopped with a loss in his last bout. He dropped a unanimous decision to Zabit Magomedsharipov in a main event showcase that earned both combatants Fight of the Night honors.

Stephens (28-17-1) is a noted knockout artist who made his UFC debut in 2007. The 33-year old San Diego resident saw a three-bout winning streak offset by what is now a three-fight losing streak. He has received performance bonuses for four of his past six fights.

“Kattar is the more technical striker, and I see him using his boxing and leg kicks to pick Stephens apart over the course of three rounds,” Marley told SportsLine.

How to make UFC picks

Marley also has strong picks for Ferguson vs. Gaethje and every other bout on the May 9 card. He’s also backing one man who’s “the scariest fighter alive.” You can only see every pick for every UFC fight here.

Who wins Ferguson vs. Gaethje? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight on the UFC card May 9, all from the accomplished expert who’s up almost $19,000, and find out.

May 9 UFC odds

Tony Ferguson (-200) vs. Justin Gaethje (+170)
Henry Cejudo (-220) vs. Dominick Cruz (+180)
Francis Ngannou (-310) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+250)
Calvin Kattar (-260) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+220)
Anthony Pettis (n/a) vs. Donald Cerrone (n/a)
Greg Hardy (-185) vs. Yorgan De Castro (+165)
Fabricio Werdum (-265) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (+225)
Jacare Souza (-150) vs. Uriah Hall (+130)
Vicente Luque (-230) vs. Niko Price (+190)
Bryce Mitchell (n/a) vs. Charles Rosa (n/a)

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