UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje Live Coverage

Quick to return to live events, the UFC will hold UFC 249 on Saturday night. The two-championship show is headlined by Tony Ferguson battling Justin Gaethje for the vacant interim Lightweight Championship. Also on the card is Henry Cejudo making the first defence of his UFC Bantamweight Championship against the returning Dominick Cruz. Follow along throughout the night for live updates.

A full preview of the show can be read here.

News broke late last night that Jacare Souza would be pulled from his matchup with Uriah Hall after testing positive to COVID-19. A full report on the change can be viewed here.

Full Card – Click a fight to skip to it:

Early Prelims (ESPN / UFC Fight Pass) (6:00PM EDT)

Bout 1: Ryan Spann def. Sam Alvey via Decision, Split

Bout 2: Bryce Mitchell def. Charles Rosa via Decision, Unanimous

Prelims (ESPN / TSN 4&5) (8:00PM EDT)

Bout 3: Vicente Luque def. Niko Price via Doctor’s Stoppage, Swollen Eye (RD 3, 3:37)

Bout 4: Carla Esparza def. Michelle Waterson via Decision, Split

Bout 5: Alexey Oleinik def. Fabricio Werdum via Decision, Split

Bout 6: Anthony Pettis def. Donald Cerrone via Decision, Split

Main Card (PPV) (10:00PM EDT)

Bout 7: Greg Hardy def. Yorgan De Castro via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 8: Calvin Kattar def. Jeremy Stephens via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 2:42)

Bout 9: Francis Ngannou def. Jairzinho Rozenstruick via KO, Left Hook (RD 1, 0:20)

Bout 10: Henry Cejudo def. Dominick Cruz via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 4:58) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

Bout 11: Justin Gaethje def. Tony Ferguson via TKO, Strikes (RD 5, 3:39) (UFC Vacant Interim Lightweight Championship)

Live Coverage:

Bout 1: Ryan Spann (17-5) vs. Sam Alvey (33-13) (Light Heavyweight)

Kicking off the six-fight preliminary card, Ryan Spann fought UFC veteran “Smilin’” Sam Alvey. Spann was quick to shoot for a single leg takedown, getting it in the opening seconds. Alvey got up while against the cage, but Spann got him down in the second minute. When Alvey got up for the second time, Spann tried for an arm triangle choke. This choke continue for a minute or so, with Alvey escaping around halfway through the round. Alvey played a counter-puncher role throughout the round, often connecting after Spann did. In the final minute of the round, Spann landed a good punch combination before trying for a takedown again. The round ended from the position.

It was mentioned in-between rounds that a calf of Spann was bothering him. Spann failed to secure a takedown early in the second round. The punching exchanges were almost always starting with Spann but finishing with Alvey. Alvey had the better striking earlier in the round, however Spann shook Alvey in the final minute with some punches. There were many minutes in the round where Alvey would hear something from his corner and audibly respond.

After Spann connected with a punch, they clinched up at the start of the third round. Spann connected with numerous punches in the second minute after opening his striking with a head kick. Alvey charged forward and landed a punch or two. Alvey connected with a high kick in the fourth minute. Spann got hurt in the final minute with a right hand. Trying to recover, Spann shot for a takedown. Alvey tried for a guillotine choke on the ground, letting it go when they got back up. In the final seconds, Spann endured more punches on the feet until the round ended. Going to the judges, Ryan Spann took a split decision victory (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Spann 10 9 9 28
Alvey 9 10 10 29

Bout 2: Charles Rosa (12-3) vs. Bryce Mitchell (12-0) (Featherweight)

In the next matchup, Charles Rosa fought Bryce Mitchell. Mitchell got a takedown in the first minute, getting on the back of Rosa seconds later. Rosa flipped to his back, where Mitchell put in an arm triangle choke. Mitchell got back on the back of Rosa, allowing him to escape what became quite a deep choke. Rosa tried for a reverse triangle choke for a moment on the ground. Mitchell grabbed an arm and started to try for a twister. Mitchell let go of the choke, moving back into full mount. He tried for an arm triangle choke in the final minute, moving both his legs into side control that time. Rosa escaped yet again, enduring until the round ended.

Mitchell caught a leg kick for a takedown to start the second round. He went into full mount again. After moving around on the ground, Mitchell tried again for an arm triangle choke. He got on the back of Rosa, trying again for a twister before the round ended.

After Rosa tried for a spinning back kick, Mitchell charged in and got another takedown. Rosa tried for a guillotine choke on the bottom, although Mitchell popped out. Mitchell tried for an arm triangle yet again while in full mount. It sounded like the fighters were talking to eachother near the end of the fight. Mitchell stood up near the end, taking down Rosa before he fully got back up. Mitchell put Rosa in a crucifix position on the ground. They got up before the round ended. Going to the scorecards, Bryce Mitchell got a unanimous decision win (30-25, 30-25 & 30-24).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Rosa 8 9 8 25
Mitchell 10 10 10 30

Bout 3: Vicente Luque (17-7-1) (#13) vs. Niko Price (14-3) (Welterweight)

The third matchup saw the first appearance from a ranked fighter, as Vicente Luque fought Niko Price. A back and forth striking battle kicked off the first round. Luque was chipping away at the lead leg of Price. Luque backed up against the cage in the fourth minute after being hit with a series of strikes. Price got a takedown after a flurry. Price tried for a darce choke with a minute to go. They got back up, with some seconds left in the round.

Luque scored with a solid two punches in the first minute of the second round. A pause came after Price was hit in the groin. Luque dropped price in the third minute of the fight, however Price recovered while shooting for a takedown. Price scored with an uppercut while leaving the takedown attempt. A small cut opened on the right cheek of Price. Price failed to get a takedown from a body lock. They kept a very fast pace of striking until the round ran out of time.

The fight continues.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Luque 9 9
Price 10 10

Bout 3: Vicente Luque (17-7-1) (#13) vs. Niko Price (14-3) (Welterweight)

The third matchup saw the first appearance from a ranked fighter, as Vicente Luque fought Niko Price. A back and forth striking battle kicked off the first round. Luque was chipping away at the lead leg of Price. Luque backed up against the cage in the fourth minute after being hit with a series of strikes. Price got a takedown after a flurry. Price tried for a darce choke with a minute to go. They got back up, with some seconds left in the round.

Luque scored with a solid two punches in the first minute of the second round. A pause came after Price was hit in the groin. Luque dropped price in the third minute of the fight, however Price recovered while shooting for a takedown. Price scored with an uppercut while leaving the takedown attempt. A small cut opened on the right cheek of Price. Price failed to get a takedown from a body lock. They kept a very fast pace of striking until the round ran out of time.

The fast paced striking picked right back up in the third round. Damage was showing clearly on both fights by the halfway point of the final round. Price was dropped by a left hook with two minutes to go in the fight. Luque went to the ground for a minute, but got up eventually. A pause came to allow a doctor to look at the swollen right eye of Price. Due to the swollen eye, the fight was ended.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Luque 9 10
Price 10 9

Bout 4: Carla Esparza (15-6) vs. Michelle Waterson (17-7) (Strawweight)

The only strawweight fight of the evening saw Carla Esparza and Michelle Waterson battle. Both fighters were throwing strikes at the start, however the distance between them made not a lot connect. Esparza got a takedown in the final minute, holding the position until the round ended.

Esparza failed to get a takedown in the fourth minute of the fight. She tried again in the final minute. Waterson landed a knee near the end of the round.

While still failing to get the fight down, Esparza was landing more strikes in the final round. Esparza put Waterson against the cage after catching a leg kick. Waterson was able to resist a takedown, pushing Esparza away eventually. Esparza’s striking picked up even more before the round concluded. Needing scorecards to find a winner, two of the three judges picked Carla Esparza as the winner (30-27 Waterson, 29-28 Esparza & 30-27 Esparza).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Esparza 10 9 10 29
Waterson 9 10 9 28

Bout 5: Fabricio Werdum (23-8-1) vs. Alexey Oleinik (58-13-1) (Heavyweight)

In a battle of two heavyweight veterans, Fabricio Werdum returned to fight Alexey Oleinik. Oleinik was landing punches in the second minute that had Werdum shelled up while standing. From a clinch, Oleinik was drilling Werdum with punches to the body and head. He continued with punches, and due to no present audience the impact was heard. The striking continued on-and-off for the entire round.

Early in the second round Werdum tried for a guillotine choke on the feet. The fatigue started to show halfway through the second round. In the striking department, Oleinik was still mostly dominant. Werdum got a takedown with two minutes to go. For the minute they were down, Werdum was on top. They got up in the final minute of the round with Oleinik charging forward with punches again.

Werdum was quick to get a takedown in the final round, trying for an armbar eventually. He tried for a kimura, although Oleinik was able to avoid it. Werdum got full mount with two minutes left in the round. With a minute and a half remaining, they got back up. Back on the ground, Werdum tried for a guillotine choke before the round ended. A decision read in favour of Alexey Oleinik (29-28 Werdum, 29-28 Oleinik & 29-28 Oleinik).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Werdum 9 9 10 28
Oleinik 10 10 9 29

Bout 6: Donald Cerrone (36-14) vs. Anthony Pettis (22-10) (Welterweight)

Finishing off the main card, a rematch between Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis took place. After a few slow opening minutes, Cerrone got a takedown when countering a kick. They got back up with a minute to go.

Pettis scoring with good shots here and there in the second round. The types of strikes he threw were quite diverse. Pettis landed a good two-punch counter-punching combination in the fourth minute. Another takedown for Cerrone came in the fourth minute. Pettis was able to get back up before the round ended. They hugged after the horn ended the round.

Pettis connected with a two-punch combo in the third round after Cerrone charged in. Cerrone caught a kick in the second minute, putting Pettis against the cage afterwards. They separated, going back to striking. Cerrone was hit in the eye with a punch in the fourth minute. He tried to motion that he was hit in the eye however a pause never happened, likely since an eye poke wasn’t seen. After a head kick connected to Pettis the fighters exchanged with a fast combo each. Cerrone had Pettis against the cage, throwing punches and kicks as the round ended. Upon replay, an eye poke was evident. Going to the scorecards, all three judges decided that Anthony Pettis won (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Cerrone 10 9 10 29
Pettis 9 10 9 28

Bout 7: Greg Hardy (5-2) vs. Yorgan De Castro (6-0) (Heavyweight)

Kicking off the pay-per-view portion of the card, Greg Hardy fought the undefeated Yorgan De Castro. Both fighters were throwing haymakers from the very start. De Castro was the only fighter connecting with punches early on. Leg kicks to the lead left leg of Hardy were landing throughout the round. Hardy scored with a few punches near the end of the first round. They stayed in stand-up until the round ended.

Hardy’s lead leg was very red before the second round started. De Castro mostly played defence in the second round, not throwing much but staying active and avoiding strikes.

Hardy started the second round by landing a hard punch. De Castro went to the ground late in the round, although Hardy didn’t want to go down as well. De Castro was eventually stood up by the referee. Hardy kept marching forward with strikes throughout the round. The fight went all 15 minutes with Greg Hardy getting a unanimous decision win (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Hardy 9 10 10 29
De Castro 10 9 9 28

Bout 8: Jeremy Stephens (28-17) vs. Calvin Kattar (20-4) (Featherweight)

In the next fight, Jeremy Stephens fought Calvin Kattar. Yesterday, Stephens missed weight, coming in four-pounds over the featherweight limit. Stephens was opening up with more strikes at the start. While Kattar opened up more in the second half of the fight, it felt like Stephens was throwing more and connecting more.

The fight continues.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Stephens 10
Kattar 9

Bout 8: Jeremy Stephens (28-17) vs. Calvin Kattar (20-4) (Featherweight)

In the next fight, Jeremy Stephens fought Calvin Kattar. Yesterday, Stephens missed weight, coming in four-pounds over the featherweight limit. Stephens was opening up with more strikes at the start. While Kattar opened up more in the second half of the round, it felt like Stephens was throwing more and connecting more. Stephens was also landing leg kicks in the round which chipped away on the lead leg of Kattar.

Kattar’s best striking started in the second minute of the second round. Kattar connected with two different combinations of punches. With just over two minutes to go in the fight, Kattar landed an elbow to the jaw that dropped Stephens. He finished the fight with strikes on the ground a few seconds later, including another elbow to the forehead.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Stephens 10
Kattar 9

Bout 9: Francis Ngannou (14-3) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruick (10-0) (Heavyweight)

In the final of three heavyweight fights of the evening, Francis Ngannou challenged the undefeated Jairzinho Rozenstruick. Before this fight, it was announced that Georges St. Pierre would join the UFC Hall of Fame this summer. At the very start, Ngannou charged forward, landing a left hook that knocked Rozenstruick out cold. The fight ended shortly after. Ending the undefeated streak of Jairzinho Rozenstruick, Francis Ngannou extended his winning streak to four fights.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Ngannou
Rozenstruick

Bout 10: Henry Cejudo (15-2) vs. Dominick Cruz (22-2) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

The co-main event saw Henry Cejudo attempt to make the first defense of his UFC Bantamweight Championship, fighting the returning Dominick Cruz. Early in the round it was clear that Cejudo was targeting Cruz with leg kicks. Cejudo got a takedown halfway through the first round after catching a kick. Cruz got up within seconds. Cruz shot for a takedown seconds later, although Cejudo stopped it.

Cejudo brushed Cruz with a head kick in the second minute of the second round. Cruz landed two punches in a row halfway through the round. Cruz would often fail to get a takedown, however he would land a follow-up punch on the way out. Their heads collided in the final minute of the second round, cutting Cejudo on the hairline and causing a pause. They resumed shortly after. Cruz got dropped by a  knee to the head near the end of the second round. He was hit with some punches to the side of the head before the round ended. Cruz was very upset about the stoppage. Defending his UFC Bantamweight Championship for the first time, Henry Cejudo stopped a former champion. After the fight, Cejudo announced his retirement from MMA.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Cejudo 10
Cruz 9

Bout 11: Tony Ferguson (25-3) vs. Justin Gaethje (21-2) (UFC Vacant Interim Lightweight Championship)

 

The main event of the evening saw Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje fight for the vacant interim UFC Lightweight Championship. Nearly every time the fighters had an exchange in the first minute both of them would connect. Gaethje was connecting with hooks to the head frequently. Ferguson was poked in the eye near the end of the first round.

The left hand from Gaethje continued to connect, however Ferguson was never showing that he was getting hurt. Ferguson kept coming forward. Gaethje was hit with an uppercut near the end of the round that dropped him, although he recovered.

Early in the third round it became clear that the right eye of Ferguson was swelling. Ferguson continued to eat hard punches, even motioning for more with two minutes left in the round. Gaethje landed a head kick in the final minute of the round. 

After the first half of the fourth round was a slower pace from both fighter, Ferguson was shook by an overhand right. He retreated to the cage and even turned his back to Gaethje at one point. He eventually recovered. Gaethje got a head kick through in the final minute.

Gaethje landed two hard hooks in the first minute of the fifth round. While the damage didn’t show on Ferguson, the sound of the shots was clearly heard. Ferguson got rocked by two punches a minute later. Ferguson missed with a split decision halfway through the round. With a minute and a half to go in the fight, Ferguson was walking backwards while shaking his head. As Gaethje charged forward for more strikes, referee Herb Dean stepped in and ended the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Ferguson 9 9 9 9
Gaethje 10 10 10 10

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