- UFC 227 is set to go down on August 4th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
- Can Cody Garbrandt show the world that he is better than T.J. Dillashaw?
- Henry Cejudo looks for a better performance in his flyweight championship rematch against Demetrious Johnson
The UFC is bringing their Octagon to the Staples Center, where some of the sport’s finest will look to entertain in Lala Land at UFC 227.
Two titles will be on the line, with two men also seeking redemption.
At UFC 227, T.J. Dillashaw will be defending his Bantamweight Championship against former friend and now-arch-nemesis Cody Garbrandt. The last time these two met was at UFC 217 where “Killashaw” won with a surprising second-round knockout to claim the gold. Garbrandt has something to prove and will be looking to take back what was once his.
The card has no lack of stories and could provide the perfect script for a night of fights in Hollywood.
Revenge will also be on the mind of Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo when he goes head-to-head with Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson for the second time. These two previously met at UFC 197 where Johnson defeated Cejudo by first-round TKO.
The card has no lack of stories and could provide the perfect script for a night of fights in Hollywood. We throw a spotlight on the odds and give our predictions for the three biggest fights at UFC 227.
T.J. Dillashaw (c) vs. Cody Garbrandt: Bantamweight Championship
|T.J. Dillashaw (c)||-130|
Most fight fans knew we would get a rematch between Dillashaw and Garbrandt eventually, but many believed that we would see Dillashaw in a super-fight with UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson first. Obviously, that never came to fruition and although Dillashaw wasn’t too keen at giving his hated rival an immediate rematch, it was clear this was the best money fight he could muster up at the moment.
Now both men look to legitimize themselves.
— Cody Garbrandt (@NoLoveMMA) July 8, 2018
The last time out, “No Love” Garbrandt did a great job of dealing with opponent’s movement in the first round. He was able to handle Dillashaw’s constant changes from southpaw to orthodox and landed some stiff jabs including a big right hand that dropped Dillashaw at the end of the round.
But, the fight game is about adjustments, and in between rounds Dillashaw was told to stop trying to set up kicks, to instead throw them hard-and-heavy any chance he got. A more aggressive Dillashaw did just that, and dropped the champ. Dillashaw was once again the UFC Bantamweight Champion.
Ultimately it comes down to who can make his opponent a reactionary fighter.
This is an extremely hard fight to predict. Both men bring high-level striking and reflexes to the cage. The last time out the fight was a kickboxing match, but both combatants also possess enough wrestling acumen that you can’t help but wonder if takedowns will be on the menu this time around.
Expect to see both men exchange in a similar fashion as they did at UFC 217. Garbrandt will look to counter while Dillashaw will most definitely throw more kicks to set up his punches. Ultimately it comes down to who can make his opponent a reactionary fighter.
In close fights like this, all it will take is one mistake from either combatant and it could be over.
Dillashaw is the current favorite, which means there is some value in Garbrandt. Usually, we try and avoid betting on these types of pick’em fights, but a small bet on Garbrandt might be worth it.
|CODY GARBRANDT VS. T.J. DILLASHAW||Odds|
|Odds on fight ending in KO/TKO||-150|
|Odds on rematch lasting longer than first fight||+200|
Predicted Winner: Cody Garbrandt
Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Henry Cejudo: Flyweight Championship
|Demetrious Johnson (c)||-600|
Since this fight is in L.A. it’s safe to say, “we’ve seen this movie before.”
The last time these two men shared a cage, Johnson put on a striking clinic, needing only two and a half minutes to dispatch the former California wrestling prodigy. Although Cejudo has put together two impressive wins, it’s clear that the flyweight division is in desperate need of new blood.
Johnson hasn’t lost in seven years and is riding an impressive 13 fight winning streak. The Champ dominates no matter where the fight goes with his ridiculous speed, accurate and powerful punches, and killer jiu-jitsu. He broke the UFC record with 11 consecutive title defenses, recently landed 172 total strikes — and eight takedowns — against Ray Borg, and has earned performance of the night in four of his last six fights. He’s the complete package.
Cejudo would probably already be flyweight champion if one of the greatest of all time wasn’t holding the belt.
Meanwhile, Cejudo has improved his overall skillset and has won six of his last eight fights. Although he is best known for his wrestling, his striking has significantly improved; the man looks to be morphing into a solid all-around mixed martial artist. In fact, Cejudo would probably already be flyweight champion if one of the greatest of all time wasn’t holding the belt.
Sure anything can happen in MMA, but betting against “Mighty Mouse” doesn’t make any sense. He’s one of those rare fighters who can gameplan and lock onto opponent’s weaknesses while avoiding their strengths. That said Johnson has been one of the safer bets over the years and there is no reason to stop riding that.
Cejudo is a quality fighter, but he is not on the same level as DJ. We expect this fight to end quickly within the first two rounds.
|DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON VS. HENRY CEJUDO||Odds|
|Odds DJ wins via KO/TKO||-186|
|Odds DJ wins via submission||+200|
|Odds DJ wins via decision||+1500|
|O/U number of rounds||2.5|
Predicted Winner: Demetrious Johnson
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Volkan Oezdemir
This may not be a title bout, but it’s a fight with a lot of potential for both Alexander Gustafsson and Volkan Oezdemir. Gustafsson could find his way to a possible rematch with current light-heavyweight and newly-crowned heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier. Meanwhile, for Oezdemir a win over Gustafsson would look great on the resume and at least place him in the conversation.
Gustafsson enters the cage coming off an impressive knockout win over a tough Glover Teixeira, and riding a two-fight winning streak. He’s probably one of the most durable fighters in the game and over the years he has seen his body take a ton of abuse.
Ultimately Gustafsson will want to avoid Oezdemir’s power and maybe look to take the fight to the mat.
That said, the 31-year-old Swede has both reach and size advantage in this fight. Ultimately Gustafsson will want to avoid Oezdemir’s power and possibly take the fight to the mat. Oezdemir has won 73% of his fights via knockout, but the man they call “No Time” better be prepared to have some. He’ll either have to finish Gustafsson early or risk being exposed the longer the fight goes.
At UFC 220, Cormier showed that Oezdemir has trouble on the ground. Gustafsson can look at that blueprint, and plan his striking to set up takedowns and clinches, wearing his opponent out.
There is more in Gustafsson’s toolbox to get a win here and we like his overall durability.
|Odds on Gustafsson Victory||Odds|
|Odds Gustafsson faces Cormier for light-heavyweight title next||+100|
Predicted Winner: Alexander Gustafsson