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Opinion: The new and improved UFC 249 card

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That’s right, I will say it, clearly the mixed martial arts gods and the entire universe don’t want to see Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov square off in the octagon.  I am fine with that because Ferguson verses Justin Gaethje is a step up in my opinion.  A net positive during a time of fear and uncertainty in the age of COVID-19, if you ask me. 

Gaethje was a late replacement for the UFC Lightweight Champion, Nurmagomedov, on the original UFC 249 card which was scraped last minute after plans to hold it in California at the Tachi Palace fell through.   Khabib returned to Russia for the quarantine then Russia’s boarders were locked down.  All due respect to the Champ, he is nearly flawless in victory and has never been defeated.  However, we need to come out of this Lockdown with a bang, we will be treated to a grand finale of violence between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje in the main event.  

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Travel restrictions have also affected another Championship Fight.  Originally set to defend his 135-pound strap against Jose Aldo, Henry Cejudo will now face former champ Dominick Cruz, who is coming off another long layoff.   I would’ve been satisfied watching Aldo attempt to recapture the crown.  On the flip side, I am extremely interested to see if Cruz’s cerebral fighting style can outsmart the Cringe King, Cejudo.  

If that isn’t enough to convince you, let’s talk about the main event of the prelims where Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone faces Anthony “Showtime” Pettis for the second time.  Both fighters are coming off devastating defeats.  Pettis last fought at UFC 246 on January 18th.  He fell victim to a rear-naked choke from Carlos DIego Ferrerira.  And of Course, who doesn’t remember Cerrone’s recent destruction at the hands, feet, and shoulder of Conor McGregor? 

Did I mention Fabricio Werdum is back after his 2-year USADA suspension?  Originally set to fight at UFC 250 against Aleksei Oleinik, they will do battle in a heavyweight showdown on the ESPN prelims. Quite frankly the prelims are stacked, “Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson takes on former and the first ever Women’s Strawweight Champion, Carla Esparza.  Starting the ESPN portion of the card off strong, in the middleweight division, Uriah Hall takes on multiple time Jiu Jitsu world champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.  This fight was set for the main card of the original UFC249.  All four of these fights featured could easily be on the PPV portion with no complaints from the fans.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I am a glass is half full type of guy.  This event will be a Brightside for the fans and the fighters.  

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