While you construct a card with as many huge fights as UFC 249 had, the fallout goes to be appreciable, particularly coming from the highest of the cardboard.

Justin Gaethje placed on the efficiency of his profession in ending the 12-fight win streak of Tony Ferguson to turn into UFC interim light-weight champion (regardless that he threw that belt away and proclaimed his need for the “actual” belt Khabib Nurmagomedov holds). Henry Cejudo defended his UFC bantamweight championship towards Dominick Cruz, one of many division’s innovators, after which promptly introduced his retirement on the age of 33.

After which there’s Francis Ngannou, who took all of 20 seconds to remind the world of his devastating energy as he knocked out Jairzinho Rozenstruik and acknowledged his case for an additional heavyweight title shot.

At house, the fighters in every of these divisions have been paying shut consideration.

Al Iaquinta, the UFC’s No. 9-ranked light-weight, fought Nurmagomedov for the belt Gaethje is at present after. Iaquinta misplaced the choice on April 7, 2018.

Urijah Faber, who defended the WEC featherweight title towards Cruz after which fought him twice for the UFC bantamweight championship, was known as out by Cejudo after he gained the belt final June.

Curtis Blaydes is caught proper behind Ngannou within the heavyweight logjam, on the lookout for some degree of decision within the championship image as he hopes to push towards a title problem of his personal.

All three fighters provided their insights into UFC 249’s greatest fights, what the fallout may imply for every of these fighters and the way the way forward for their respective divisions may form up.

Al Iaquinta on Ferguson-Gaethje



Justin Gaethje lands stiff punches all through his interim light-weight title struggle vs. Tony Ferguson en path to victory in Spherical 5.

When the principle occasion of UFC 249 started, Al Iaquinta was on the sting of his seat in anticipation of watching Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje throw down. When the struggle finally ended within the fifth spherical, Iaquinta, like a lot of the viewing viewers, was completely impressed by Gaethje’s efficiency.

“It was the proper tempo for Gaethje, and he simply managed that entire factor,” Iaquinta stated. “He received caught with one huge punch, however aside from that, he was just about in management the entire time. And the toughness of Ferguson, the quantity of pictures he took was 5, 10 fights value of pictures in a single night time.

“Ferguson simply saved coming ahead, like he did towards the final 12 guys he fought, and beat. Normally guys cannot maintain it. They get caught up in that loopy struggle, the place Ferguson scrambles and he sinks in these chokes. The mayhem that Ferguson is comfy in simply by no means occurred, as a result of Gaethje actually placed on a large masterpiece of a efficiency.”

Regardless that Gaethje did not have a full camp as a result of he was a late alternative for Nurmagomedov, the three added weeks of preparation have been greater than sufficient to get him prepared for this struggle. Whereas the early barrage wasn’t a shock, sustaining that method and quantity of assaults for greater than 20 minutes was staggering. Iaquinta stated that boils right down to preparation from fighter and coach alike.

“Trevor Wittman, in between rounds, was even like, ‘You are throwing an excessive amount of into his shot. Calm it down a bit of bit,'” Iaquinta stated. “I believe he listened, and it was nice teaching within the nook. The one time he received a bit of loopy, and opened himself up for that uppercut, I believe Wittman received him proper again in focus.

“Gaethje beat him from high to backside. It was so satisfying to observe Gaethje put all of it collectively the way in which he did, and the facility in each shot. Nevertheless it was fairly unenjoyable watching Tony take all that. He was simply too powerful for his personal good.”

Whereas Ferguson was visibly upset that referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the struggle whereas he was nonetheless on his ft, from an outdoor perspective, Iaquinta believed Ferguson had merely sustained an excessive amount of injury to successfully defend himself.

“These final two rounds weren’t good. That was an excellent stoppage,” Iaquinta stated. “At that time, it was a achieved deal. It appeared like he received hit with one final jab, and he shook his head. It appeared like mentally he was simply not conscious. His legs have been sort of giving out. You undoubtedly do not wish to see him take extra.”

The victory places Gaethje in the identical place Ferguson was in beforehand — in line for a shot at Nurmagomedov and the UFC light-weight championship. When it comes to struggle fashion, although, Nurmagomedov presents a completely totally different problem than Ferguson.

“I believe with Gaethje’s scrambling capability, he poses some threats. It should be an fascinating struggle, as a result of Gaethje stated he does not actually wish to wrestle an excessive amount of as a result of he will get drained,” Iaquinta stated. “I believe that this tempo, this struggle, the way in which Gaethje fought tonight, I believe he can do this tempo perpetually. If Khabib will get his fingers on him and Gaethje’s arms refill with blood and tire out these muscle groups, it is simply going to be a distinct struggle. I do not understand how that one goes, however what an excellent matchup.”

Urijah Faber on Cejudo-Cruz



Henry Cejudo efficiently retains his bantamweight championship with a second-round TKO victory over Dominick Cruz.

Urijah Faber has most likely seen extra tape on Dominick Cruz than anybody else on the planet of MMA. Along with three title fights over time, and a fourth bout that fell by way of, Faber additionally helped TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt put together for their very own title fights towards Cruz.

In watching Saturday’s bantamweight title struggle, Faber was impressed by how properly Henry Cejudo had ready.

“Dominick has gotten extra harmful all through the years, however his bread and butter has all the time been profitable factors,” Faber stated. “He hits well timed takedowns, he is very laborious to actually join with and has a excessive output. That is how he is had so many victories on the highest degree. I believe Cejudo was doing job of countering that, and I did not assume that he was going to have the ability to do it in addition to he did.

“Henry was tight, kicking right through his legs in order that even in case you transfer one leg, he is kicking the second leg. He additionally was taking part in the counter sport, which I felt labored for me in 2011 with Dominick. Let him do his motion, after which when he units, then you definately are available and assault.”

The one ingredient of the struggle Faber was upset about was the end, as referee Keith Peterson stepped in with two seconds left within the second spherical. Cejudo had landed a devastating standing knee and several other big-swinging left fingers on the bottom to Cruz, however the challenger standing again up when the struggle was stopped.