Justin Gaethje obtained an surprising alternative and plans on taking full benefit of it. Simply over a month after being chosen as a substitute, Gaethje will battle Tony Ferguson for the interim light-weight title in the principle occasion of UFC 249 on Saturday, Could 9. The primary card from VyStar Veterans Memorial Enviornment in Jacksonville is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET. Gaethje (21-2) owns a 6-Zero profession document in title fights, all of which befell from 2014 to 2016 throughout his tenure with the World Collection of Preventing.

Gaethje presents a novel problem for Ferguson (26-3), who had been making ready to face Khabib Nurmagomedov earlier than the present UFC light-weight champion was changed in early April due to journey restrictions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Ferguson is a -180 favourite (danger $180 to win $100), whereas Gaethje is a +155 underdog within the newest Ferguson vs. Gaethje odds from William Hill. Within the co-main occasion, Henry Cejudo (-240) defends his bantamweight title in opposition to two-time former champion Dominick Cruz (+200). Earlier than making any UFC 249 picks, be sure to see the UFC predictions from SportsLine MMA analyst Brandon Sensible.

A CBS Sports activities editor specializing in MMA, Sensible has been dissecting the game for 5 years. He focuses on selecting main-card fights for UFC, which has enabled him to be worthwhile yearly. Sensible went an ideal 5-Zero at UFC 239 and 4-1 at UFC 245. He additionally nailed Khabib Nurmagomedov’s destruction of Conor McGregor in 2018, Stipe Miocic’s upset of Daniel Cormier and Max Holloway’s downfall in 2019. Throughout UFC 247 and UFC 248, Sensible went 7-Three along with his main-card picks, returning wholesome income for anybody following them.

Sensible additionally nailed the principle occasion of UFC 248 in March, telling SportsLine members to count on middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (-275) to retain his title in opposition to Yoel Romero (+235) by unanimous choice. He argued that Adesanya would maintain the motion on the toes and was confirmed appropriate because the champ landed quite a few leg kicks en path to victory. Anybody who has persistently adopted Sensible is manner up.

Now, with UFC 249 quick approaching, Sensible fastidiously has studied each matchup on the principle card, recognized the perfect worth within the UFC odds and launched his MMA picks for every struggle. He is solely sharing these alternatives right here.

Ferguson vs. Gaethje skilled preview

Sensible is aware of Ferguson had been making ready to struggle Nurmagomedov, who at the moment is caught in Russia. It marks the fifth time a matchup between the 2 has did not happen after being booked.

Ferguson is within the midst of the longest profitable streak in UFC light-weight historical past. The 36-year-old Californian has received 12 consecutive fights, the final being a second-round TKO in opposition to Donald Cerrone on June 8. 

A former collegiate wrestling champion, Ferguson has not misplaced since dropping a unanimous choice to Michael Johnson on Could 5, 2012. He captured the interim light-weight championship with a submission win over Kevin Lee in October 2017, however was stripped of the title after withdrawing from a struggle with Nuragomedov in April 2018 resulting from a torn knee ligament.

Ferguson’s profitable streak might come to an finish in opposition to the fourth-ranked Gaethje, who has recorded three straight victories after struggling back-to-back losses. The 31-year-old from Arizona’s most up-to-date win additionally got here in opposition to Cerrone, as he scored a TKO within the first spherical on Sept. 14. Get Sensible’s predictions for Ferguson vs. Reyes and each major card struggle right here.

High UFC 249 major card predictions

One among Sensible’s UFC 249 predictions: He’s backing Francis Ngannou (-260) to defeat Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+210) in a heavyweight bout.

A skilled boxer, Ngannou (14-3) has rebounded from back-to-back unanimous-decision losses to document three consecutive victories, the final two coming in opposition to former champions Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. The 33-year-old from Cameroon’s final seven wins have ended within the first spherical, six by knockout.

Ngannou might want to keep away from the ability punches of Rozenstruik, who’s seeking to enhance to 11-Zero since switching to Blended Martial Arts. The 32-year-old former kickboxer from Suriname has scored 9 of his victories through knockout, with seven coming within the opening spherical.

How one can make Ferguson vs. Gaethje picks

Sensible additionally has robust picks for Ferguson vs. Gaethje and each different bout on the principle UFC 249 struggle card. He is additionally backing a fighter whose “explosiveness” will propel him to a decisive victory. Get each choose for each struggle on the UFC 249 major card at SportsLine.

Who wins Ferguson vs. Gaethje? And the way precisely does every struggle finish? See the most recent UFC 249 odds under after which go to SportsLine now to get detailed picks on each struggle on the UFC 249 major card, all from the completed skilled who has been worthwhile for 5 straight years.

UFC 249 major card odds (through William Hill)

Tony Ferguson (-180) vs. Justin Gaethje (+155)
Henry Cejudo (-240) vs. Dominick Cruz (+200)
Francis Ngannou (-260) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+210)
Calvin Kattar (-240) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+200)
Greg Hardy (-175) vs. Yorgan De Castro (+150)