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While most of the sporting world is on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, UFC 249 is scheduled to go ahead on April 18. There is a hitch, however, as lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is stranded in his native Dagestan and therefore unlikely to face Tony Ferguson in the main event.
To say the bout was highly anticipated would be a major understatement. It was arguably the most anticipated clash in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship since both fighters would have come into it with double-digit winning streaks. That would have been the first time that had ever happened in a UFC bout.
With Nurmagomedov likely out of UFC 249, various media sources are claiming that organizers may replace him with Justin Gaethje (21-2).
The fight was originally slated to take place at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York. However, UFC president Dana White recently said he and his firm are looking at a few alternative venues, with Florida floated as a possible destination. No matter where UFC 249 takes place, there will be no spectators.
New Jersey sportsbooks act fast on UFC 249 odds
It looks as if PointsBet is the first legal sportsbook in New Jersey, and possibly in the United States, to post odds for the proposed Ferguson vs Gaethje fight. That sportsbook has Ferguson as the favorite at -200 with Gaethje the underdog at +160. As of April 1, PointsBet does not have any proposition bets posted for the bout.
Gaethje is a very explosive fighter in the lightweight division, so his rumoured bout with Ferguson comes with high expectations. Considering that there are no other major events taking place in the middle of April, the fight may draw a large handle for sportsbooks in New Jersey and across the US. Even so, it is unlikely to draw nearly as much betting action as Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson would have.
The co-headline bout between Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas is still on the cards for UFC 249. These two fought in May last year with Andrade coming out on top. For the rematch, however, New Jersey sportsbooks have Namajunas as the favorite at -200 with Andrade at +160.