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UFC 249: Optimal Lineup and Fight Breakdowns for MMA DFS (5/9/20)

The Excitement is Justified. That’s right folks. Even if we weren’t stuck in our homes starving for entertainment, this would be a card that justifiably gets your blood boiling.

I seriously can’t think of a card this stacked since UFC 167, which featured Lawler vs. McDonald, GSP vs. Hendricks, Evans vs. Sonen and Woodley vs. Koshcheck. That was nearly 7 years ago and it took a zombie apocalypse to get us here. So, order some pies, wings and beers and slot out about 6 hours from your busy schedules to soak up as much violence as possible; because even the prelims are awesome.

Ok, I know you RotoBallers are DFS thirsty so I’ll get that out of the way and give you some quick thoughts. I’m taking Fabricio Werdum, Ronaldo Souza and Henry Cejudo as my safest bets. I’m taking risks with Anthony Pettis, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Justin Gaethje. I know, I know trust me it hurts me to bet against two of my favorite fighters in Francis Ngannou and Tony Ferguson, but you have to take risks to win. My optimal lineup is Souza, Cejudo, Werdum, Gaethje, Pettis and Rozenstruik. Be sure to also check out our DraftKings and FanDuel MMA DFS picks articles. Good luck!

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Legends Abound in UFC 249

Ok now I’d like to discuss the awesomeness of this card. First let’s discuss how many legends and potential legends are featured. Donald Cerrone, Dominick Cruz and Fabricio Werdum will all go into the hall. Tony Fergusson, Justin Gaethje, Francis Ngannou, Henry Cejudo and Jairzinho Rozenstruik all have the potential to be legendary.

Add some really exciting fighters like fan favorites Jeremy Stephens and Anthony Pettis as well as a perennial contender in Ronald Souza and you’ve got a blockbuster night ahead of you. And to make it even more exciting, we’ve got some insane matchups. I won’t write about all of them, but feel free to hit me up on Twitter if you’d like to discuss. I will write in order of my excitement level.

 

Tony Fergusson Vs. Justin Gaethje

Holy moly people this is going to be an incredible fight. Tony has the submission advantage in my opinion and will learn early on that he will need to seduce Gaethje to the ground to win the fight. Gaethje has knockout power and striking skills that I’m not sure Tony has seen. Tony has been hurt by inferior strikers like Anthony Pettis and who knows if he wakes up if he takes that shot from Gaethje.

With that being said, Tony always seems to pull out something unorthodox and I believe he will wind up on the floor with a submission victory. So why don’t I have Tony on my DFS lineup? Because he will be on most and I think it’s close with a serious chance of a knockout for Gaethje. But, Tony is my absolute favorite fighter based on his creativity, stamina and bloodlust. It will be interesting to see what happens when you run that skillset against a guy who always looks like he’s wanting and willing to die in the cage.

I also want to mention that this fight is exactly what both of these fighters need. Neither has faced a fighter of respective caliber and I think that is needed before stepping into the cage with Khabib Nurmagomedov. Tony really hasn’t beaten anyone of note other than Kevin Lee, who has disappointed recently, and Justin took two losses to the best he’s faced in Dustin Porier and Eddie Alvarez. Just think what this fight could lead to? A Khabib Nurmagomedov matchup for one and a Conner McGreggor matchup for the other. We are some lucky spectators with some amazing MMA to look forward to because of this fight.

My Prediction: Tony Round 2 Submission

 

Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik

I am so excited for this petrifying matchup. I am also petrified that this fight looks a lot like the Derrick Lewis dud that ruined my night. It is not out of the question that we could be disappointed given the power that both of these men possess and in turn the respect they may give each other in the Octagon. Let’s hope that Ngannou learned from the Lewis fight and will give us what we want.

I ultimately think that the big guy’s length and power will be too much for Rozenstruik, but wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see him get hurt and knocked out for the first time in his career. What fighter has he faced with the speed and power of Rozenstruik?

Derrick Lewis hardly threw a punch, Stipe wore him down, and Junior isn’t what he was when he knocked out everyone with one punch. If either of them hits each other with the shots that nearly took Allistair Overeem’s head or mouth off, it’s night night.

My Prediction: Ngannou Round 2 KO

 

Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz

I personally don’t like when guys, or gals, take time off. I believe that the sport evolves very fast and that active fighters are learning and improving at an exponential rate from those that have taken time away. I am always brought back to the Amanda Nunez destruction of a returning Rhonda Rousey.

And unfortunately for Dominick Cruz, I think this is going to be a long night. If Cruz has lost even a small step to that unorthodox elusive style, Cejudo will capitalize and punish him. After taking severe punishment from Marlon Moraes and coming back to win by punches, I think we see a confident beast in Cejudo who dismantles Cruz pretty quickly.

With that being said there is always the chance and hope that we witness a legend return to stardom. Cruz has been a fantastic commentator and has been in the middle of tons of beef with the likes of T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt who are still in the picture. So a win would create some exciting matchups going forward and a win for Cejudo would allow him to continue his amazing Champ Champ run.

My Prediction: Cejudo Round 1 KO

 

Honorable Mentions

I love Cerrone but think his day has passed. Pettis has also suffered some bad defeats but I think his striking is a bit too sharp for Cowboy. I think Pettis wins a bloody decision.

Fabrico Werdum will knock out Alekse Oleinik and Ronald Souza will beat Uriah Hall in a decision.

Brett Mitchell and the rest of us spectators will be the true victors as we get to binge snacks, drinks and violence for 6 hours.

P.S. I won’t mention Hardy vs. Castro because I feel like these fighters and this fight should be on a Bellator card. No disrespect to Douglas Lima or Ryan Bader who should come back to the real show.

 

Hit me up on Twitter @BrettMitchellFB

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