The feedback on the last blog has been great and I couldn't be more grateful. With only 5 days till the fights, it's time to make my predictions for UFC 249's main-card. Don't forget to submit your predictions in the free contest for a shot at $25. Let's get into it!
Greg Hardy vs Yorgan De Castro: Both these men are wild cards which makes this very hard to predict. Yorgan is undefeated in his professional career but was 1-2 as an amateur less than 4 years ago. He originally earned his spot on the Contender Series and followed it up with a KO at UFC 243 vs Justin Tafa. Greg Hardy is 5-2-1 with one of his losses coming from an illegal knee against Allen Crowder. His last fight was his first big test against Alexander Volkov where he lost a unanimous decision. My prediction is that Greg Hardy makes quick work of Yorgan De Castro and calls out the loser of Ngannou vs Rozenstruik.
Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar: WOW... As I continue to write these I keep getting reminded how stacked this card really is! Jeremy is on a super tough streak of fights going 0-3-1 in his last 4(Aldo, Zabit, Yair x2). One of his best friends and training partners is Dominick Cruz who is fighting for the 135-pound belt on this card. Not to say he doesn't already train hard but having both those guys preparing for big fights could lead to a better Jeremy showing up May 9th. Calvin has also taken a recent loss to Zabit but besides that has a few notable wins including Ricardo Lamas, Shane Burgos, and Andre Fili. Kattar is continuing to improve but I feel Jeremy is going to come into this fight sharper than normal and take it by decision.
Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik: This may be the most power in one fight the UFC has ever seen! Both fighters are known to put people to sleep and in quick fashion. With 17 of their 24 victories coming in the first round, these two men will likely go out there ready to bang. Ngannou has made quick work of his last 3 fights with none lasting a first minute and thirty seconds. Rozenstruik took a different approach in his last fight finishing Alistair Overeem with 4 seconds left in the 5th round showing he has power for all 25 minutes. I can not bring myself to pick against Ngannou. He has shown time and again to have insane power and in recent photos has looked BIGGER THEN EVER. First-round TKO and a rematch with Stipe will follow.
Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz: Henry Cejudo has completely embraced the art of cringe which makes rooting against him so easy. Unfortunately for me he also mastered mixed martial arts and has become one of the pound for pound best fighters of all time! In his last 5 fights, he has gone through murder row defeating Wilson Reis, Sergio Pettis, Demetrious Johnson, T.j. Dillashaw, and Marlon Moraes. After coming off an almost year-long lay off due to surgery he looks to take down another future HOF Dominick Cruz. As crazy as this sound we have seen Ronda Rousey fight more recently then Dominick Cruz. He has had a string of bad luck after his loss to Cody Garbrandt. He has been plagued with injuries including plantar fascia tendinitis, a broken arm, and an injured shoulder over the past 3 years. I think that fans are underestimating Dominick and overestimating Henry. Dom has had one loss in the past 13 years and has proven to have some of the best fight knowledge out there. Henry is at a bigger weight class then what he fought for the majority of his career and is fighting a very unorthodox style. I might be a little biased (I'm extremely biased) but I see Dom out striking him for 5 rounds and getting the unanimous decision.
Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje: It sickens me that I even have to write about this. It might not be safe to book the Khabib vs Tony fight at this point. The curse went from harming the fighter to harming everyone. If this fight gets scheduled again the world might get hit by a meteor. Either way, we are here now so let's dissect the main-event on this amazing card. Tony has shown he's one of the best in the world. He is one a 12 fight winning streak with some insane names on that list including Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, Rafael Dos Anjos, Edson Barboza, and more. Not only has he won but he's been able to win in multiple different ways. He's proven he can go 5 rounds, won by submissions including triangle choke, D'arce, and rear-naked, and by knockout via corner stoppage and doctor stoppage. He has so many ways to win its hard to find holes in his game. Justin has recently shown a lot of power finishing his last 3 fights in the first round. Known for having a chin, Justin has looked extremely good in his last 3 fights with tremendous power. Although I want to see Tony vs Khabib fight more than anything, I feel Tony will start slow as he normally does and with his chin being questioned in the Pettis and Lando Vannata fight, he will get caught and finished in the second round. Justin's power I believe is stronger than anyone Tony has fought before. I hope I'm wrong but we will see Saturday.
Greg Hardy 1st Round TKO
Jeremy Stephens Decision
Francis Ngannou 1st Round TKO
Dominick Cruz Decision
Justin Gaethje 2nd Round TKO
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