UFC 249 – It Delivers

Is it too outlandish to say this might be the most anticipated US sporting event of the 21st century? God I love the UFC. This Saturday at UFC 249, this sport has the ability to bring so many people together and begin a move forward out of this pandemic and towards a sense of normalcy. I’m all for that.

Now I’m not gonna pretend that I know all the technicals that go into martial arts but like most people I am attracted to 2 people just going at each other in a steel cage for sport.

Obviously this is a stacked card and I’m not going to really go in depth into each matchup because I would just be kidding myself in knowing whats going to happen and who’s going to do what in each fight. I will try and make some picks for the co-main events though.

These are the 2 title fights of the night and after watching the Countdown Doc on YouTube I am pumped. They are ready.

I also really enjoy Joe Rogan commentating. I like that he is so transparent and authentic in that this is basically a hobby for him and he doesn’t take it too seriously. It enhances the viewing experience for me because even though I don’t know the technicals of the sport I still have that “personal” connection of watching with Rogan and taking in his insights.

Before going into the main fights one thing I wanna say is I can’t believe Cowboy Cerrone (+115) is fighting in what seems like such a fast turnaround from when he got infamously KO’d by McGregor’s shoulder in his last fight. That is what’s so crazy about the UFC to me. The fact that this guy can fight about 4 months after getting his face knocked in is just so wild. These dudes are straight up beasts.

Cerrone is for sure an accomplished fighter but he kinda reminds me of Marvin Lewis’ Bengals. He is very solid, and competitive- like the Bengals won the AFC North a few times, but when the lights shine brightest he, and the Bengals, just get embarrassed. I mean this was the case with McGregor and before him the main event fighter, Tony Ferguson, so that’s kinda where I get that idea from.

I think that Cowboy and Showtime Pettis (-140) is a exciting bout for the prelims and just adds more name candy to what is already a legitimately stacked card.

It’s also clear (to me) why the UFC is so much bigger than boxing in the United States right now. These guys just wanna get in the ring what seems like as often as possible and obviously the fact that there is a formal league makes the stakes very different than boxing.

What I’m getting at is there’s a big boxing match maybe every 6 months. UFC takes a fraction of that time and they constantly are churning out main events. This card is so stacked and of course Dana White is pulling out as many stops as possible to come basically even to the excitement that fight island was brewing up.

Anyways, for the first title fight, Cejudo (-220) v. Cruz (+175), I’m just hoping for some blood. As a new(er) UFC fan I have yet to really Cruz really fight so the only thing I can get is from the hype and 24/7 videos on YouTube. And just like the next guy I do love a good hype video. I am just hoping for an exciting fight and like I said maybe some blood. Cejudo is a flat out beast and he will be absurdly fast. He dominated TJ Dillashaw and Marlon Moraes in his last 2 fights in the division and seems to have much less overall tread on his tires than Cruz. I guess you could argue that Cruz will be fresh considering he hasn’t fought in about 4 years. I am all for the famous “rest vs. rust” debate that’ll be discussed all night. I really hope we see some championship rounds in this fight and I am leaning towards staying with Cejudo. The Bantamweight Division needs some of the younger guys like “Sugar” Sean O’Malley to continue to improve so they can get their chances at the belt.

For the main event I need Ferguson (-180) to win. I need it. This is solely because a Ferguson v. Khabib matchup has got to happen. Now I do think that Gaethje (+150) does deserve the chance for the interim title as the dude has a sweet punch, but Ferguson and Khabib is what the fans want and it’s what the UFC needs to really continue the momentum in the Lightweight Division. Gaethje’s best chance is to get to Tony early but as I’m sure everyone on TV will say that just is so hard to do. Tony has the complete package of striking, wrestling, and jiu jitsu to be a nightmare for everyone. He’s so fast, his hands are absolute bear paws, and his conditioning is unmatched. He hasn’t lost in 12 fights and I don’t see it getting cut there. This is by far the biggest fight of Gaethje’s career and it’s hard to prepare for someone like Ferguson with a normal training period, let alone a shortened camp. Tony is too crafty and too focussed to lose sight of what’s at stake so I think that he will improve his winning streak to 13 straight and move his attention (once again) exclusively on Khabib.

Like I said I’m a fairly above casual UFC fan and I think that this event has the potential to be one of the most exciting, important sporting events of our lives. In a post coronavirus world there are going to be things that change in regards to huge crowds for these types of events.

The UFC constantly delivers and I don’t see why this won’t happen again.

I’m just excited to have some sports back and see people forget about the bleakness of the last few months for a little period of time. Twitter is sure to be a goldmine and I’m hoping this will get the ball rolling for all sports to finally get back to normal.

Cheers and good luck to those who will be betting on the fights!

@jacklesser_

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