Jones, Johnson Big Betting Favorites on Saturday’s UFC 197 Card

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Jon “Bones” Jones makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon on Saturday when he takes on Ovince Saint Preux in the main event at UFC 197 as a strong -600 betting favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The former UFC Light Heavyweight champion will be looking to claim the interim crown in Saturday night’s showdown at MGM Grand Garden Arena, following a 15-month absence.

Owner of a professional MMA record of 21-1, Jones claimed a unanimous decision victory over Daniel Cormier in his last fight at UFC 182, successfully defending the Light Heavyweight title he held at the time as -170 chalk and extending his current unbeaten streak to 12 fights.

After Jones was stripped of the belt in April 2015, Cormier claimed the vacant Light Heavyweight title with a win over Anthony Johnson. Cormier was originally scheduled to face Jones at UFC 197 before a foot injury forced him to withdraw, clearing the path for Saint Preux’s first shot at the interim championship.

Saint Preux takes on Jones sporting +400 odds after earning a unanimous decision against  Rafael Cavalcante against UFC Fight Night 82, paying out at -360 odds to improve his pro record to 19-7. However, he has struggled against top flight competition in recent years.

The 33-year-old was submitted by Glover Teixeira in the third round of their main event at UFC Fight Night 73, disappointing as -115 chalk, and also dropped a unanimous decision to Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night 47 as a +140 underdog.

While Jones is currently pegged at No. 2 on the OddsShark Pound-for-Pound Rankings, he has been unable to end a fight inside the distance in his last three outings, also settling for unanimous decision wins over Teixeira as -550 chalk at UFC 172, and over Alexander Gustafsson as a -1100 favorite at UFC 165 in one of the greatest UFC battles of all time.

In other UFC 197 betting action, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson looks to continue his domination of the UFC Flyweight division when he puts his title on the line against Henry Cejudo as a -400 betting favorite.

Undefeated in his last 10 bouts, Johnson last defended his crown at UFC 191 with a unanimous decision win over John Dodson as a big -550 favorite, while Cejudo tries to extend his perfect MMA record to 11-0 as a +300 underdog.

Anthony Pettis is listed as -175 chalk in his Lightweight matchup with Edson Barboza, who sits at +145 odds for Saturday, while Robert Whittaker is -335 chalk in his Middleweight clash with Rafael Natal, who trails at +255.

UFC 249 live stream, start time, schedule tonight: How to watch Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje, PPV price, TV channel, more

UFC 249
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As live sporting events start to creep back onto the calendar, one will be eagerly awaited by MMA fans: UFC 249.

The event was supposed to be on April 18, but will be in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday. No fans will be in attendance.

The main card — originally a showdown between perhaps the world’s best fighter, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson — has changed from the initial plan. Travel restrictions prevent Nurmagomedov from fighting. So Justin Gaethje will be vying against Ferguson.

Also on the card are Henry Cejudo, who will defend his title against former champion Dominick Cruz. Additionally, some of the top Heavyweight fighters in the world, Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, will face off in the octagon.

How do I watch UFC 249?

It will be air live as a pay-per-view event on ESPN+.

How much is it?

Given you have to subscribe to ESPN+, there are a few options. You can sign up for a free trial, then purcahse the event for $64.99. (A membership is $4.99/month.) Or you can do a bundle for new subscribers. That would be $84.98 and includes UFC 249.

What time is UFC 249 tonight?

Early Prelims (Airing on UFC Fight Pass, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Vicente Luque vs Niko Price
  • Bryce Mitchell vs Charles Rosa
  • Ryan Spann vs Sam Alvey

Prelims (Airing on ESPN and ESPN+, starting at 8 p.m. ET)

Main Card (Airing on ESPN+, starting at 10 p.m. ET)

  • Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje
  • Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz
  • Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik
  • Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar
  • Greg Hardy vs Yorgan De Castro

Check back here on Saturday night and Sunday morning for more on UFC 249.

Conor McGregor arrested in South Florida

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MIAMI — Mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor has been arrested in South Florida for stealing the cellphone of someone who was trying to take his photo, authorities said.

According to a Miami Beach police report, the 30-year-old McGregor was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with robbery and criminal mischief. An attorney for McGregor called the altercation “minor” and said the popular fighter would cooperate with authorities.

McGregor was leaving the Fontainebleau Miami Beach shortly after 5 a.m. Monday when a 22-year-old man attempted to take a picture of McGregor, the police report said. Police said McGregor slapped the phone out of the man’s hand and then stomped on it several times. McGregor then grabbed the phone and left the area, the report said. Police later found McGregor at his local address.

McGregor was being held on $12,500 bail.

“Last evening Conor McGregor was involved in a minor altercation involving a cellphone that resulted in a call to law enforcement,” Samuel J. Rabin Jr., a Miami-based attorney representing McGregor, said in a statement. “Mr. McGregor appreciates the response of law enforcement and pledges his full cooperation.”

McGregor, who’s from Ireland, is the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion and one of the biggest draws in MMA. He returned to UFC last fall after a hiatus during which he made his boxing debut, a loss to Floyd Mayweather. He was suspended from UFC for six months and fined $50,000 for a brawl after his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October.