UFC 249 is set to premiere on May 9 in Jacksonville, Florida with no fans in attendance.

  • UFC 249 will be held on May 9 in Jacksonville, Florida but no fans will be allowed to watch in person.
  • The main event will be a lightweight championship fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
  • This will be the first of three UFC events in an eight-day period.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is set to return amid the coronavirus pandemic as the first event will be UFC 249. The event will be on May 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida and will be the first of three UFC events in the state.

All UFC events will be without fans in attendance but the fights can be streamed on all ESPN platforms.

“I can’t wait to deliver some great fights for the fans,” said UFC President Dana White. “I want to give a big thanks to Mayor Curry, VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and Florida State Boxing Commission Executive Director Patrick Cunningham for getting this thing done and giving us a venue to put on these incredible cards, as well our media partners including ESPN and ESPN+, for bringing it to fans. My team is ready to go and the fighters are excited to get back in there with these back-to-back events.”

This will mark the first time in UFC History that the sport will host an event in Jacksonville.

“Florida’s State Commission and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation have been in continued coordination with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to identify options for bringing the UFC to Florida for upcoming events,” said Florida State Boxing Commission Executive Director, Patrick Cunningham.


“Florida welcomes the UFC to the Sunshine State, and our commission stands ready to sanction the events to be held on May 9, 13 and 16. Health and safety protocols will be in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all individuals who are helping to make these events possible. With this triple date feature of UFC events coming in May, Florida is continuing to build a strong collaboration with UFC that sets the foundation for more opportunities that we hope UFC will choose to host in our state in the months to come.”

With such a sudden return by the UFC, online sportsbooks have wasted no time and have already posted betting odds the on UFC 249 event that cover all 11 fights on the card.

Main Event – Interim Lightweight Championship Fight

Tony Ferguson (-162) vs. Justin Gaethje

Winner: Tony Ferguson (-162). Ferguson (26-3) is the favorite in this fight over Justin Gaethje (21-2) and rightfully so as he’s the top-ranked lightweight fighter in the weight group. Ferguson has the advantage in reach for this fight and he’s easily one of the most violent fighters in the UFC. Gaethje is a polished fighter and his +142 odds are worth the dice roll in this fight as these fighters are close in skill. However, those looking to bet on the UFC should strongly consider taking the more experienced and longer fighter in this match and that’s Ferguson.

Welterweight Fight

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis (-125)

Winner: Donald Cerrone (+105). This preliminary fight will be one of the best among the early fights as Donald Cerrone (36-14) takes on Anthony Pettis (22-10). Both of these fighters are experienced in the octagon which should make this fight go the distance. Although Pettis is the favorite in this fight with -125 odds, bettors should consider the +105 odds on Cerrone to pull off the upset because that where the profit lies for this prop and this fight will likely be decided by the judges. Many casual UFC bettors may remember Cerrone’s name from losing to Connor McGregor in January in just 40 seconds. However, Cerrone has a long history fighting in the UFC and has had many better fights to consider before putting action on this line.

Bantamweight Title Fight

Henry Cejudo (-235) vs. Dominick Cruz

Winner: Henry Cejudo (-235). Cejudo (15-2) is the current Bantamweight champion and has -235 odds to defend his title against Dominick Cruz (22-2). This will be a close fight and bettors shouldn’t be surprised to see this fight go the distance and be decided by judges. The -235 odds on Cejudo should be taken as he’s won his last three title defenses with two of those three victories coming via KO. If fishing for an underdog to bet on in this fight Cruz has +200 odds to pull off the upset.

UFC 249 will be May 9 and will be broadcasted by ESPN. The preliminary fights will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST and the main card will begin at 10 p.m. EST.

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