UFC 249 LIVE: Justin Gaethje ends Tony Ferguson win streak to set up Khabib mega-fight

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The UFC’s fourth pay-per-view card of the year took place behind closed doors at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • In the main event of the evening, Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje locked horns for the interim lightweight title and a unification bout against155lb champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
  • Former men’s bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz returned from a near four-year layoff to take on the division’s current recently-departed Henry Cejudo in the co-main event of the evening.
  • Fan favourite Donald Cerrone locked horns with Anthony Pettis in a rematch over seven years in the making.
  • Follow all the action and reaction to the UFC’s first card in two months below.

UFC 249 Live – 07:56am – Khabib Nurmagomedov reacts to Tony Ferguson loss

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov offered a short and blunt statement on Tony Ferguson’s setback.

Nurmagomedov, who has been scheduled to face Ferguson a staggering five times, tweeted: “No Comment.”

UFC 249 Live – 07:27am – Tony Ferguson transported to hospital

The UFC have announced Tony Ferguson has been transported to hospital for treatment on the facial injuries he suffered this morning.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Justin Gaethje celebrates defeating Tony Ferguson to win the interim lightweight title (Image: GETTY)

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s reaction to Tony Ferguson’s loss to Justin Gaethje (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 06:50am – More from Tony Ferguson

“Let’s go back and get it on, you now what I mean? The consolation round you have to win back.

“Props to Justin, like I said, and his team; tough son of a b***h. Thank you for taking the fight.”

UFC 249 Live – 06:25am – Tony Ferguson reflects on his first loss in eight years

“A long camp. The weight cut had nothing to do with it. Justin’s a tough son of a b***h, I’ll be real.

“I prepared for Khabib; not too much of a striker. But s**t happens, man. What can you do? I would’ve much rather got finished instead of having somebody step in.”

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: A bloodied Tony Ferguson looks on (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 06:06am – Justin Gaethje reflects on his UFC title win

“I knew I was a killer stepping in here. I’m good bro.”

“He’s [Khabib] 28-0. And there’s no other challenge I want right now.”

“I’m a killer in here, but as soon as I step outside that Octagon you will not see that in me.”

UFC 249 Live: 06:00am – It’s over

Herb Dean has mercifully stopped the fight. And there’s no complaints from me. Tony Ferguson was taking an ungodly amount of punishment and his face was crimson red.

‘The Highlight’ is now the interim UFC lightweight champion.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Tony Ferguson was left bloodied and bruised by Justin Gaethje (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 05:59am – It’s now or never for Tony

Tony Ferguson is down by four rounds and needs to do something drastic to end this fight. Expect carnage.

UFC 249 Live – 05:52am – This is getting interesting

Justin Gaethje is continuing to punish Tony Ferguson with sickening punches. Ferguson is bloodied and bruised but not deterred. This man is made of something else.

I have it 3-0 Gaethje, but ‘The Highlight’ is getting tired.

UFC 249 Live – 05:43am – How is Tony Ferguson still standing?

Justin Gaethje has hit Tony Ferguson with every, and I mean everything, but the kitchen sink. But somehow, ‘El Cucuy’ is still standing. In fact, none of Gaethje’s stinging punches have rattled him.

I give Gaethje the second round, even though he was rocked at the end of the stanza.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Justin Gaethje lands a big right hand on Tony Ferguson (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 05:37am – Round one is in the books

A tough round to score as both men had their moments. Gaethje, however, did land the heavier punches. And for that, I’ll give him the nod.

UFC 249 Live – 05:26am – It’s time for the main event

The fight we’ve all been waiting for is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. The interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje is about to go down.

Expect nothing but pure, unadulterated violence.

UFC 249 Live – 05:16am – Henry Cejudo calls it a day

Henry Cejudo has just announced his retirement from mixed martial arts following his stoppage victory over Dominick Cruz. Nobody, and I mean nobody, expected that.

“‘Triple C’ is out. You don’t have to hear my a*s no more.”

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Henry Cejudo celebrates his stoppage victory over Dominick Cruz (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 05:08am – And still!!

Henry Cejduo has retained his bantamweight title with a second-round TKO victory over Dominick Cruz. The Olympian closed the show with a nasty knee that floored Cruz and a flurry of punches that forced referee Keith Peterson to call a halt to proceedings.

UFC 249 Live – 05:02am – Leg Kick City

Henry Cejudo’s gameplan for this fight is crystal clear: restrict Dominick Cruz’s movement with leg kicks. ‘Triple C’ has so far been successful in implementing that plan, repeatedly chopping away at the former champion’s lead leg.

Those kicks will begin to pay dividends in the later rounds.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Henry Cejudo makes his way to the Octagon for his first defence of the BW title (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live: 04:51am – Return of ‘The Dominator’

The co-main event of the evening is now upon us. Dominick Cruz will return from a near four-year layoff to challenge Henry Cejudo for the men’s bantamweight title he held for seven years.

Will we hear Bruce Buffer say “and new” or “and still”? We’re about to find out.

UFC 249 Live – 04:34am – It’s over in seconds!!

Francis Ngannou has just stretched Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a matter of seconds. After a tentative early exchange, the pair began trading heavy, heavy leather.

Ngannou evaded the Suriname native’s power shots and landed a hellacious left hook that separated ‘Bigi Boy’ from consciousness.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Francis Ngannou is the scariest man on the planet.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Francis Ngannou made light work of Jairzinho Rozenstruik (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 04:25am – We’ve got a gun fight on our hands

Right, folks. Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik is just moments away. I repeat, Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik is just moments away.

This battle of heavy hitters is arguably the most anticipated fight on the card. This isn’t going to go the distance. Expect fireworks.

UFC 249 Live – 04:20am – The UFC announce GSP’s induction into the Hall of Fame

During the broadcast, the UFC announced former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre will be inducted into the Hall-of-Fame.

A well and truly deserved induction for the man many believe to the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Calvin Kattar finishes off Jeremy Stephens (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 04:10am – It’s over!!

Calvin Kattar has just picked up a huge stoppage win over Jeremy Stephens. Boston’s Kattar closed the show with a nasty right elbow that dropped ‘Lil Heathen’ and closed the show with some vicious ground and pound.

What a victory for Kattar, who will now have his sights set on the featherweight division’s elite

UFC 249 Live – 04:03am – A contrast of styles

As expected, both Jeremy Stephens and Calvin Kattar have stayed true to their striking philosophies. Stephens has been through each shot with 100 per cent power, while Kattar has probed and been more methodical with his punches.

Kattar, however, did land a massive straight right hand with 30 seconds left to go. This fight has well and truly lived up to its billing. More of the same please, gents.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Calvin Kattar lands a vicious elbow flush on Jeremy Stephen’s chin (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 03:50am – Fight of the Night Alert.

Buckle up, folks. Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar is about to go down. This featherweight showdown is a real sleeper fight that has gone under the radar.

To say I’m buzzing for this fight would be a massive understatement.

UFC 249 Live – 03:42am – The Prince of War is back in the win column

Greg Hardy is back in the win column following a unanimous decision victory over Yorgan de Castro. The judges scored the contest 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 in the American Top Team star’s favour, a verdict which saw him erase the memory of his loss to Alexander Volkov late last year.

UFC 249 Live – 03:40am – Round three is in the books

The fight has gone to the judges. For me, Hardy’s activity was enough to get the victory. Let’s see if the judges agree with me.

UFC 249 live – 03:34am – All to fight for in round three

A much better display of striking and evasiveness from Hardy in round two. The former NFL standout finally heeded the advice of his corner and began checking De Castro’s kicks. De Castro fatigued towards the end of the round, which I believe Hardy took.

Whoever wins the final round could very well end up walking away with the victory.

UFC 249 Live – 03:27am – A fiery first round

To say both men threw heavy leather in the first round would be somewhat of an understatement. Other than their jabs, Hardy and De Castro put 100 per cent into each strike they threw.

Despite having a height and reach disadvantage, De Castro had success closing the distance and landing shots. He’s also brutalised Hardy’s lead leg with powerful kicks. Hardy needs to start checking them otherwise his movement is going to be drastically hindered.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Greg Hardy fires a jab Yorgan de Castro’s way (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 03:20am  – Here we go

Hardy and de Castro are both in the Octagon. Let’s see who edges this battle of heavy hitters.

UFC 249 Live – 03:05am – Let the main card begin

The pay-per-view portion of UFC 249 is about to get underway. Kicking off the main card is a heavyweight bout between former NFL star Greg Hardy and the hard-hitting Yorgan de Castro.

All I’ve got to say is don’t blink, folks.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 LIve: Donald Cerrone lands a big right uppercut on Anthony Pettis (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 03:00am – Another loss for Cerrone

Despite putting on a stellar display, Cerrone suffered his fourth consecutive loss, which came courtesy of a unanimous decision verdict.

‘Cowboy’ had his moments in the fight and arguably got the better of the striking exchanges. His body of work, however, didn’t impress the judges enough, with the officials scoring the fight 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 in Pettis favour.

UFC 249 Live – 02:52am – An entertaining fight so far

As expected, this rematch between Cerrone and Pettis has been thoroughly enthralling. Cerrone is a lot more relaxed than he was in his bout wth McGregor in January, although he is coming up second best in the striking exchanges.

Pettis is doing a beautiful job of mixing up his strikes, in particular, feinting kicks and landing hard punches.

One more round to go here. Let’s hope we get more of the same.

UFC 249 Live – 02:41am – It’s Cowboy time

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is back for the first time since losing his UFC 246 showdown with Conor McGregor in January. ‘Cowboy’ is currently locking horns with former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who he lost to in January 2013.

Can the future Hall-of-Famer avenge that defeat and get back in the win column? We’ll soon find out.

UFC 249 Live – 02:33am – No happy return for Vai Cavalo

Despite his impressive second round and early showing in the third, Werdum was unable to impress the judges enough to make a winning return to the cage.

The contest was scored 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 in Oleinik’s favour, a scorecard few can argue with.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Donald Cerrone makes his way to the Octagon donning his cowboy hat (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 02:25am –  A much better round for the former champion

Werdum seemed to wake up between rounds, putting on a better performance in the second. I have this one apiece going into the third. All to play for now.

If I was Fabricio, I’d close the distance and nullify Oleinik’s striking. I’m sure his coaches will have given him the same advice.

UFC 249 Live – 02:20am – Werdum is struggling

Ring rust has well and truly gotten the better of Fabricio Werdum. He’s looking sluggish, slow and unable to hand the pace being put on him. That’s not surprising given his two years away from the cage.

Let’s see how he fares in round two.

UFC 249 Live – 02:10am – The return of Vai Cavalo

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum is about to make his return to the cage. Werdum has been on the sidelines since March 2018 due to a USADA anti-doping violation.

The jiu-jitsu phenom will be welcomed back to the cage by fellow grappling whizz Alexey Oleynik. As a major fan of grappling, I can’t wait for these to get at it.

Let’s hope both men look to assert their dominance on the floor early on.

UFC 249 Live – 02:00am – Esparza gets the nod

Former UFC strawweight queen Carla Esparza has been given the nod against Michelle Waterson, with the judges awarding her a split decision victory.

The judges scored the contest 30-27, 29-28, 30-27, which was a weird scorecard for me as Waterson clearly won round two.

Waterson has now lost her last two and has some serious work on her hands to get back into title contention.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Fabricio Werdum looks on before his first fight in over two years (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 01:50am – A close fight so far

Neither woman has so far been able to assert their dominance in the contest. Esparza did, however, steal a takedown late in the first round, which could very well have stolen the stanza.

UFC 249 Live – 01:35am – We move to the strawweight division

Up next is a women’s strawweight fight between former Invicta FC champions Carla Esparza and Michelle Waterson.

This fight is a pivotal one for both women’s hopes of moving up the ranks, so expect both combatants to go all out to get the W.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Carla Esparza and Michelle Waterson trade blows (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 01:30am – The doctor stops it

The doctor has deemed Niko Price unable to continue due to a badly swollen left eye, which was completely shut.

The right call from the referee, who has saved ‘The Hybrid’ from taking anymore unnecessary punishment.

UFC 249 Live – 01:21am – As advertised, this fight has been a war

This rematch has well and truly lived up to its billing. Both men have had success on the feet and had the other hurt.

Two rounds down, one to go. Let’s see if the pair can keep this relentless pace going.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Niko Price’s right eye was completely shut after a battering from Vicente Luque (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Live – 01:10am – Welterweights on deck

A welterweight rematch between Vicente Luque and Niko Price is currently in progress.

The highly-touted Luque, who lost his last outing against Stephen Thompson, won the pair’s first meeting in October 2017 via second-round submission.

Will Price be able to exact revenge on the Brazilian? We’ll soon find out.

UFC 249 Live – 1:00am – Another win in the books for Micthell

As expected, Bryce Mitchell picks up a wide unanimous decision victory, with the judges scoring the contest 30-25, 30-25, 30-24 in his favour.

A thoroughly impressive performance from ‘Thug Nasty’, who made Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Rosa look like a blue belt.

I can’t wait to see what’s next for him.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Bryce Mitchell celebrates his win over Chares Rosa (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 LIVE – 0:50am – All ‘Thug Nasty’

This has been nothing short of a dominant performance from Bryce Mitchell. He’s repeatedly taken Rosa down at will and cut through his guard like a hot knife through butter.

Mitchell’s grappling, in particular, the ease in which he’s transitioned between submission attempts has been a real sight to behold.

This is going to be a wide victory for the Arkansas native if it carries on this way.

UFC 249 LIVE – 0:40am – We move to the featherweight division

A 145lbs showdown between Bryce Mitchell and Charles Rosa is currently taking place.

DWCS alumi Mitchell will be fighting for the first time since his unbelievable twister submission victory late last year.

This fight is a grappling fan’s dream. Hopefully, we see lots of takedowns and transitions. That’s what we all want to see.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Bryce Mitchell attempts a Twister on Charles Rosa (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 LIVE – 0:30am – Our fight is in the books

Ryan Spann has made it four wins in a row with a split-decision victory over veteran Sam Alvey.

Superman edged a closely-fought contest via split decision, surviving a late blitz from ‘Smilin’ to win the contest 29-28, 28-29, 29-28.

He may not have been impressed with his performance, but Spann will be thrilled to have kept his momentum in the stacked 205lb division going.

UFC 249 LIVE – 0:10am – The UFC is back, folks!!

After nearly a two-month hiatus, mixed martial arts premier promotion is back in action. Kicking off the UFC 249 prelims is a light-heavyweight title fight between Ryan Spann and Sam Alvey.

This is a big fight for Dana White’s Contenders Series alumni Spann, who has been on a roll since graduating from the show and entering the promotion. This should be a good one, folks.

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249 Live: Ryan Spann attempts a takedown on Sam Alvey (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 Main Card odds (courtesy of OHM Bet UK)

Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje – Ferguson: 52/100 – Gaethje: 8/5

Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz – Cejudo 46/100 – Cruz: 17/10

Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik – Ngannou: 4/11 – Rozenstruik: 21/10

Calvin Kattar vs Jeremy Stephen – 4/11 – Stephens: 85/40

Greg Hardy vs Yorgan De Castro – Hardy: 46/100 – De Castro: 17/10

Dan Walker mocks Naga Munchetty's BBC5 Live move 'Can tell she's got no children'

UFC 249: Tony Ferguson will bid to become a two-time interim lightweight champion this morning (Image: GETTY)

UFC 249 fight card

Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje (interim lightweight title fight)

Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz (men’s bantamweight title fight)

Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (heavyweight bout)

Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar (men’s featherweight bout)

Greg Hardy vs Yorgan de Castro (heavyweight bout)

Prelims

Donald Cerrone vs Anthony Pettis (welterweight bout)

Alexey Oleynik vs Fabricio Werdum (heavyweight bout)

Carla Esparza vs Michelle Waterson (women’s strawweight bout)

Vicente Luque vs Niko Price (welterweight bout)

Bryce Mitchell vs Charles Rosa (men’s featherweight bout)

Ryan Spann vs Sam Alvey (light-heavyweight bout)


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