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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:54 PM

UFC looking at May 9 card with 12 bouts

Dana White, UFC pushing for May 9 card

According to reporting from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto late Tuesday night, UFC President Dana White and his staff have lined up an unbelieveably stacked card that’s in the works for May 9 at a to-be-determined venue.

To be clear, Okamoto stressed that not all of the fights have been signed and sealed yet. Nevertheless, he told Kenny Mayne on Sports Center that he’s spoken to “75 to 80 percent” of the fighters (and/or their reprsentatives) set to compete and that all were ready to go.



Obviously, there’s once again the chance that a government shutdown could get the show scrapped altogether.

As White said last week when ESPN forced him to stand down and postpone UFC 249 that was scheduled for April 18, ‘Fight Island’s infranstructure is being built, but it’s unclear if that venue will be ready for this May 9 date. Therefore, we can expect the location to remain a mystery.

The Sunshine State is certainly a possibility. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent out a press release Monday that added several special exceptions to ‘essential businesses’. One of the exceptions was some sporting events, including WWE, which would seemingly pave the way for the UFC as well.

If the lineup stays intact, I believe it’s the best show the promotion has put together since UFC 200 (before Jon ‘Bones’ Jones flunked a drug test and ruined the main event, that is).

The headliner will be Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson vs. Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje.

UFC Betting Odds - May 9 Card

Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje

Tony Ferguson -180
Justin Gaethje +155

Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz

Henry Cejudo -225
Dominick Cruz +190

Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer

Amanda Nunes -500 (OFF)
Felicia Spencer +350 (OFF)
Amanda Nunes announced on April 20 that she won't participate in the event.

Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Francis Ngannou -390
Jairzinho Rozenstruik +310

Henry Cejudo opened as a healthy -225 favorite in his possible matchup against former champion Dominick Cruz. (AP)
Henry Cejudo opened as a healthy -225 favorite in his possible matchup against former champion Dominick Cruz. (AP)

Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar

Calvin Kattar -320
Jeremy Stephens +260

Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone

Anthony Pettis -120
Donald Cerrone +102

Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro

Greg Hardy -210
Yorgan De Castro +176

Fabricio Werdum vs. Aleksei Oleinik

Fabricio Werdum -264
Aleksei Oleinik +210

Carla Esparza vs. Michelle Waterson

Carla Esparza -128
Michelle Waterson +108

Ronaldo Souza vs. Uriah Hall

Ronaldo Jacare Souza -162
Uriah Hall +138

Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price

Vicente Luque -320
Niko Price +260

Bryce Mitchell vs. Charles Rosa

Bryce Mitchell -178
Charles Rosa +150

UFC Betting Odds Analysis

Sportsbooks have already posted odds for each fight. Ferguson is a -180 favorite (Bet $100 to win $55)  vs. Gaethje, who is a +155 underdog (Bet $100 to win $155).

There are two other championship bouts on the card. Henry Cejudo, who was scheduled to take on Jose Aldo at UFC 250 in Brazil, will square off with former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. This will be Cejudo’s first defense of the 135-pound strap he won with a win over Marlon Moraes at UFC 238.

Due to multiple injuries, Cruz hasn’t been in the Octagon since losing his bantamweight title to Cody Garbrandt on Dec. 30 of 2016. Cejudo has been installed as a -225 ‘chalk,’ leaving Cruz as a +190 underdog.

The other title fight is Amanda Nunes’s first defense of her women’s featherweight belt against Felicia Spencer. Nunes became a double champ by taking the 145-pound championship from Cris Cyborg via first-round knockout at UFC 232. Since then, she’s twice dropped down and defended her bantamweight crown with wins over Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie.

Spencer (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has a pair of first-round finishes since joining the UFC. Her only loss came to Cyborg last year, but she was competitive and opened up a huge cut on Cyborg’s forehead with an elbow in the opening round. Nunes has been installed as high as a -500 favorite vs. Spencer (+350).

In addition to Ferguson-Gaethje, there are five other UFC 249 fights that have been moved to this show. They include Francis Ngannou (-390) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+310), Calvin Kattar (-320) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+260), Greg Hardy (-210) vs. Yorgan De Castro (+176), Jacare Souza (-162) vs. Uriah Hall (+138) and Vicente Luque (-320) vs. Niko Price (+260).

Odds and Bouts Subject to Change

Three fights that were going to take place on other (non-UFC 249) cards are in the works for May 9: Bryce ‘Thug Nasty’ Mitchell (-178) vs. Charles Rosa (+150), former women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza (-128) vs. Michelle ‘The Karate Hottie’ Waterson (+108) and former heavyweight kingpin Fabricio Werdum (-264) vs. Aleksei ‘The Boa Constrictor’ Oleinik (+210).

The fight that’s new is a rematch of a 2013 showdown in Chicago, and it also features another former owner of UFC gold. Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis defeated Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone with a vicious body kick midway through Round 1 more than seven years ago.

Cerrone, who is on a three-fight losing streak, albeit against nothing but gangsters like Ferguson, Gaethje and Conor McGregor, will get his shot at redemption in this spot. Books have Pettis as a -120 ‘chalk’ vs. Cerrone (+102).


Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.


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