• Jerry Markarian

UFC 250 Preview

UFC 250 returns with a stacked card on Saturday, June 6th at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected both the schedule and card for the event. UFC 250 was originally scheduled to take place at Ginásio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo, Brazil. Likewise, the original main event was also changed, as UFC was forced to cancel a Bantamweight Championship match between Henry Cejudo and José Aldo, due to Aldo having visa issues with the change of venue.

There are 12 fights on the card, and headlining the event is Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer bout for the Women’s Featherweight Championship. The fight was originally scheduled for UFC 249, but was canceled because Nunes wanted to have time to undergo full training before the match.

This will be the first fight in which Nunes, the current Women’s Bantamweight Champion, will be defending the title since winning it in December 2018 when she knocked out former champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino.

Spencer, who sports an impressive 8-1 record, is a heavy underdog (+425) against the two-division champion and will likely use her background in jiu jitsu to her advantage against the similarly skilled Nunes. Interestingly, Spencer’s only loss came at the hands of Cyborg at UFC 240 last year.

The main event is not the only highly anticipated fight scheduled for the event, as there are a few intriguing matches further down the card. The bantamweight division will be well-represented at the event, as three out of four of the other matches on the card include fighters from the class.

One of these matchups will be between Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen, who are both ranked top four in their class. It is speculated that the winner of this fight will be the top contender for the recently vacated Bantamweight title (to be decided between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo).

Sandhagen is coming into the fight off of seven straight wins. Sterling on the other hand is fresh off of wrist surgery and hasn’t fought in almost an entire calendar year. Nevertheless, Sandhagen is currently seen as the slight underdog (+105) against Sterling (-125), although the betting line between the two is one of the closest of the night.

Another anticipated fight on the card is the matchup of Eddie Wineland (+340) and undefeated Sean O’Malley (-440). O’Malley made his return after a two-year absence at UFC 248 and made his presence known through his brutal victory over his opponent Jose Quinonez by way of TKO in only two minutes.

While many passionate fans have already called O’Malley the future of the class, the UFC has yet to be convinced. He currently remains unranked.

O’Malley should be able to sway their decision with a victory against 18-year veteran Wineland, who has faced some of the biggest names in the industry over the course of his career.

The two other fights on the main card are between Neil Magny (-150) and Anthony Rocco Martin (+125), and fifth ranked Bantamweight fighter Raphael Assuncao (+125) and ninth ranked Cody Garbrandt (-150).

There are two featherweight bouts and two middleweight bouts in the prelims. The two featherweight matchups are between Alex Caceras and Chase Hooper, and twelfth-ranked Cody Stamann and Brian Kelleher. The two middleweight bouts are between thirteenth-ranked Ian Heinisch and Gerald Meerschaert, and Charles Byrd and Maki Pitolo.

The early prelim fights include a bout between Evan Dunham and newcomer Herbert Burns, a light heavyweight match between undefeated Alonzo Menifield and Devin Clark, and flyweight bout between fourth-ranked Jussier Formiga and ninth-ranked Alex Perez.

The four prelim fights begin at 8 PM ET, premiering on ESPN and ESPN Plus, followed up by the main card beginning at 10 PM ET, which is only available via ESPN Plus Pay-Per-View. The three early prelim fights can be seen on ESPN Fight Pass and begin at 6 PM ET.

*All of the betting odds/lines were from Vegas

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