Say what you want about capitalism in the final stage, but it resulted in an outstanding undercard for the return of the UFC. With Fight Island dreams dancing in his head, Saturday’s promotion will hit Jacksonville, Florida for UFC 249, the first and best of a series of mid-level Sunshine State’s second favorite city events. It offers a little bit of everything except Khabib Nurmagomedov. The main event of Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje It offers high stakes and guaranteed violence, backed by hardcore favorites like Calvin Kattar and Vicente Luque, heavyweight quirks and even a Dominick Cruz appearance.

Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje LIVE

After multiple cancellations for more than four years, it has been commonly accepted that the fight of Ferguson-Nurmagomedov It is cursed, but once you examine the numbers, it is crazy how little “El Cucuy” has to show for such a successful career in UFC.

Ferguson He now has 16 fights deep in his Octagon tenure, and after breaking his arm in an understandably flat loss against Michael Johnson in 2012, he has spent eight years dominating fierce competition and entertaining performances in the process. However, Ferguson He hasn’t even been a regular main event fighter, as this somehow marks only his third five-round role with the UFC. In any case, Ferguson He has been in a frustrating waiting pattern since 2016, when a victory over Rafael dos Anjos clearly established him and Nurmagomedov as the top two contenders for Conor McGregor, who won the lightweight title of UFC next week. Instead, the Irishman chose Option C in the form of a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, and weight issues forced Nurmagomedov out of a fight with Ferguson. As a result, Ferguson Kevin Lee was beaten for an interim title that didn’t mean much, and he was quietly stripped after injuring himself before another attempt to fight Nurmagomedov. That gave Nurmagomedov the opportunity to entrench himself as a lightweight champion and he was forced to stomp into the water on pay-per-view cards as he won wars over Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone. Naturally, that led to another reservation against Nurmagomedov that fell apart due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and led to another interim title fight. On the positive side, Gaethje is a clear No. 3 in the division, which gives this fight a little more relevance than the fight of Ferguson against Lee. Still, the question remains: yes Ferguson beats GaethjeWhat will be the next obstacle that will stand between him and the undisputed glory?

Nurmagomedov is trapped in Russia due to the global health crisis, opens the door for Gaethje find your own highlight. As the World Wrestling Series began to sink and it became clear that Gaethje He was going to UFCHis mind raced about how “The Highlight” would fare in his new home. Gaethje He entered every fight in the WSOF with a clear game plan, constantly pressuring his opponents and pledging to win his fights in the most violent way possible, eating his best offense with the confidence that he could hit back harder and More often. The first fights of Gaethje at UFC They lived up to the potential in some ways and fell short in others. On the bright side, his fights against Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, and Dustin Poirier were all “Fight of the Year” contenders and three of the best fights in recent history, as Gaethje He picked up right where he left off in terms of charging through hell to try and harm his opponents. However, it fell short in terms of results: Johnson almost finished it because Gaethje He stormed in to knock out, and Álvarez and Poirier cleverly walked the razor’s edge to separate the Arizona native, stay out of trouble, and eventually exhaust him on the road to a late victory. Since then, Gaethje He appears to have become a smarter fighter, but still violent, although it’s a bit difficult to say as he knocks out his opponents. Cerrone, James Vick and Edson Barboza are all fighters who have historically fought against pressure, but Gaethje He has been more judicious in choosing his points before releasing the hammer, showing real defensive awareness before destroying each of those men within the first round. Even if you lose here, Gaethje He is a man made in terms of being an exciting and relevant fighter, at least until his body finally gives up. Still, this is a great opportunity to establish yourself as a light elite player and a true money player.

This should be a ridiculous fight, and besides the intrigue is that this could be the toughest test of Ferguson until now. “El Cucuy” doesn’t approach his fights with much of a game plan, but instead chooses to react and take advantage of what his opponents offer. It is often a slow boot as a result; their fights against Pettis and Cerrone were wars despite not making it to the third round, and even Lee and Lando Vannata managed to take over early before Ferguson will return to defeat them. Gaethje He is the most dangerous fighter in that group, particularly in the beginning, so this essentially boils down to a series of questions: Can he Gaethje take advantage of the need to Ferguson of fighting against yourself and Ferguson can he survive if he does? There are many things that suggest that Gaethje it can cause a lot of damage in that first round. Pettis showed that a strong leg kicking game, which Gaethje certainly possesses, can have a great effect on the surgically repaired knee of Ferguson; and Gaethje He is also one of the best fighters when it comes to looking for an end once he has an opponent in danger. However, despite all the problems Ferguson He has at the start of his fights, there is still all the natural talent that has made his approach work so far. He is the much faster fighter, and although Pettis and Cerrone hit him cleanly, Ferguson still survived and avoided a decent amount of fighters who are respectively faster and longer than Gaethje. This would have been a much safer choice if this fight had taken place in April, when Gaethje He barely had time to train, but even with the longest training camps, Ferguson you still have to choose to survive that tough first round and set a pace that Gaethje can’t keep on later pictures.

Ferguson vs Gaethje Prediction

This is a really difficult fight to predict. Ferguson he is very active and Gaethje it is obviously difficult to lose with the punches. The latter will want to fight, but Ferguson You can probably find some success if you can keep the east-west moving and use your length advantage. If he can take the fight to the ground, his submission skills will probably make him the most difficult fighter in those situations.

Ferguson He is also the most technical fighter, and is better in more areas of the sport. Because of this, I lean towards him to find a way to stop Gaethje in the second or third round, but this could really go either way.

Pressure Gaethje it is a different animal, and can make up for what it lacks or does not bother to use in its toolbox. When we face this pressure, we don’t know how it will respond Ferguson.

With that said, I’m officially crossing out Ferguson to win by KO in the last two rounds.