For the first time since mid-March sports fans will have some live major sports action to watch this weekend. UFC 249 takes place in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday night. For those in Colorado, that also means the ability to bet on the fights from the comfort of their homes and watch a couple of fighters with local ties do battle as part of the 12-fight slate.
May 1 was the long-awaited day for sports betting to go live in Colorado. However, with COVID-19 shutdowns across the sports world there were no NBA and NHL playoff games, MLB regular-season action to bet on during opening weekend. Now, as the UFC returns for the first time since March 14, bettors will have something significant to watch and wager on.
Ferguson vs. Gaethje Main Event
The main event of the night features Tony Ferguson (26-3) taking on Justin Gaethje (21-2) for the UFC interim lightweight title. Gaethje is based out of Arvada, CO, and attended the University of Northern Colorado where he was an All-American wrestler as a junior in 2006.
Ferguson is favored with -177 odds at DraftKings and -147 odds at FanDuel. The underdog Gaethje is +150 and +148. Neither site is betting on the fight to go the distance with the longest odds on it going to a decision are on FanDuel at +450.
Although Ferguson is favored, when it comes to how the fight will end the best odds at DraftKings have Gaethje winning by KO, TKO, or DQ listed at +180. Next up is Ferguson winning by submission (+240) and Ferguson winning by KO, TKO, or DQ (+260). The longest odds have the fight ending in a draw (+7,000) and Gaethje winning by submission (+2,500).
If you’re looking for an opportunity to get some bang from your buck, FanDuel Colorado is offering a special promo. If you deposit before the fight, you are eligible for a $20 bet on Ferguson at boosted +500 odds. Even if you already have an account, all you have to do is deposit before Saturday to gain access to the bet.
Second Colorado fighter in action
Michelle Waterson, who graduated from Colorado’s Aurora Central High School before attending the University of Denver, will be in action as part of the undercard. Waterson (17-7) is taking on former champ Carla Esparza (16-6) in the women’s strawweight division.
Esparaza is favored at both DraftKings (-150) and FanDuel (-160). Waterson’s odds, meanwhile, stand at +125 at DraftKings and +136 at FanDuel.
Of note, not only is this Waterson’s first fight since losing to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, but it will be the first time that Araya, her 9-year-old daughter who has become a fixture at her fights, will not be in attendance. Waterson and her husband Josh felt it was best to not travel during this time.
In the co-main event of the evening, bantamweight title holder Henry Cejudo (15-2) takes on Dominick Cruz (22-2). DraftKings favors Cejudo at -220, while FanDuel has him at -210. Cruz’s odds stand at +183 at DraftKings and +176 at FanDuel.
Odds favor the fight going the distance. DraftKings has the odds at -177 on going to a decision and +131 on it not.
When it comes to the winning method, both sites agree that the best odds are on Cejudo to win by decision, with DraftKings at +140 and FanDuel at +150. FanDuel has the odds on Cruz winning on points at +270. The book also has the longest odds for either fighter comes in the form of Cruz winning by submission at +1,600.
Other fights on the UFC 249 card
There are a couple of top heavyweight fights on tap for UFC 249. First up, as part of the main card, Francis Ngannou (14-3) takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-0) in a potential title eliminator match. Despite his perfect record, Rozenstruik is a heavy underdog against Ngannou. DraftKings has Rozenstruik at +225 and Ngannou at -270.
In a matchup of two 42-year-old heavyweights who specialize in grappling, Aleksei Oleinik (58-13-1) battles Fabricio Werdum (23-8-1). Werdum (-335) is very much the favorite over Oleinik (+250), per DraftKings
Here’s a look at the odds for a few of the other featured bouts:
|Fight||DraftKings odds||FanDuel odds|
|Anthony Pettis vs.|
|Calvin Kattar vs.|
|Greg Hardy vs.|
Yorgan De Castro