UFC 227 Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 preview and picks
UFC 227 Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 preview and picks
The Octagon makes its way to the Staples Center in Los Angeles Saturday, as the biggest mixed martial arts organization on the planet brings two title fights at UFC 227.
The Octagon makes its way to the Staples Center in Los Angeles Saturday, as the biggest mixed martial arts organization on the planet brings two title fights at UFC 227. Headlining the card is a bantamweight championship rematch between two men who’ve held the title, current king T.J. Dillashaw and the man he dethroned last November, Cody Garbrandt. The co-main event also features a rematch, with reigning pound-for-pound standout Demetrious Johnson facing Henry Cejudo for a second time. Below we take a closer look at these two fights, as well as rest of the card, with odds courtesy of [Bovada.](https://www.bovada.lv/sports/ufc-mma/ufc/ufc-227-staples-center-los-angeles-california-usa) ## Champion T.J. Dillashaw (-120) vs. No. 1 Cody Garbrandt (-110) A rematch few expected because of how decisive an outcome we received in their original bout, T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt will lock horns once more, some nine months removed from their Madison Square Garden dance last November at UFC 217. Despite having knocked out his rival last time out, Dillashaw only comes in as a slight favorite against the former champion. That, if nothing else, should tell you how close this fight was in spite of its TKO finish. Much of the confidence for Garbrandt comes from the power he carries in his right hand – power that came into play early in their clash last fall. The former champion had Dillashaw in a world of trouble in Round 1, knocking him down and appearing only a few strikes away from the early victory. Dillashaw survived, though, finding the wherewithal to land the finishing combination of his own just one round later. Two ultra-explosive fighters capable of ending the contest with just one strike, there isn’t much to indicate exactly how this one will play out. Go with your gut and hope for the best. My gut tells me we’ve got an “and still” situation on our hands. __Pick: T.J. Dillashaw__ ## Champion Demetrious Johnson (-500) vs. Henry Cejudo (+350) Reigning flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will entertain a rematch for the third time in his historic title run, welcoming a second go with former Olympic gold medalist and surging 125-pound contender Henry Cejudo. Johnson comes in as a fairly heavy favorite, just as he did against his familiar foe back in 2016. Cejudo lasted just 2:49 at UFC 197, collapsing after absorbing a damaging knee to the body to suffer his first career loss. It’s worth noting, however, that Johnson is likely to enter the contest as the lowest-betting favorite he’s been since he last fought Cejudo. Much of that has to do with what skills Cejudo brings to the table, but also what improvements he’s showcased since he last shared the cage with the champion. But betting against arguably the greatest mixed martial artist to ever live seems foolish at this point. __Pick: Stay away __ ## No. 5 Cub Swanson (+300) vs. No. 10 Renato Moicano (-400) Now 29 years of age, Brazil’s Renato Moicano has quietly inched his way into the elite of the 145-pound division. The submission specialist currently boasts a 12-1 record, with his lone loss coming to fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Brian Ortega. He faces the highest-profile opponent of his UFC career Saturday, Cub Swanson, looking to make good on his first chance at a foe in the top five. Better yet, oddsmakers think he’s got a solid opportunity to get past the UFC veteran. Both of Swanson’s most recent losses have come against superior grapplers, a label that could also be applied to Moicano. At 34, it’s clear we’ve already seen the best Swanson has to offer, but do his current abilities pose a big-enough threat to ward off a new featherweight contender? In a three-round fight, I think it’s certainly possible. And with these odds, it’s hard not to take a long look at the Southern California native. __Lean: Cub Swanson__ ## Polyana Viana (-275) vs. J.J. Aldrich (+215) The lone women’s fight on Saturday’s main card, Polyana Viana faces J.J. Aldrich as both ladies look to keep their winning streaks alive inside the Octagon. Viana last fought at UFC Fight Night 125 in February, stopping Maia Stevenson via submission in Round 1. That brings her run to six straight wins, with February’s win being the first of her UFC career. Aldrich, meanwhile, has managed to make it two in a row since falling on the wrong end of a unanimous decision in her UFC debut, since topping Chanmi Jeon and Danielle Taylor in back-to-back three-round decisions. Though Viana has a more impressive record on paper, the strength of her opposition doesn’t quite echo that sentiment. Take a chance on Aldrich here, hoping she can slow things down enough to score the decision. __Lean: J.J. Aldrich__ ## No. 13 Thiago Santos (-400) vs. Kevin Holland (+300) For the better part of the last five years, Thiago Santos has proven to be one of the best middleweights the world has had to offer. Picking up big wins over the likes of Steve Bosse, Elias Theodorou, Nate Marquardt and Anthony Smith, Santos has established himself as a staple of the middleweight’s gatekeeper crew. That’s what makes this a particularly puzzling matchup for Kevin Holland, who looks to make his promotional debut after impressing UFC brass during his stint on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in June. Though Holland has proven to be a stoppage machine thus far into his pro career (11 in 12 victories), he’s yet to face an opponent the caliber of Santos. Look for Santos to bounce back from a tough loss to David Branch, forcing you and your money to stay away. __Pick: Stay away__ ## Undercard picks __No. 9 Pedro Munhoz (-275) vs. No. 14 Brett Johns (+215)__ Lean: Brett Johns __Ricky Simon (-130) vs. Montel Jackson (EVEN)__ Pick: Montel Jackson __No. 10 Bethe Correia (+245) vs. No. 12 Irene Aldana (-315)__ Pick: Stay away __Matt Sayles (-115) vs. Sheymon Moraes (-115)__ Lean: Sheymon Moraes __Alex Perez (-145) vs. Jose Torres (+115)__ Lean: Jose Torres __Ricardo Ramos (-225) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (+175)__ Pick: Stay Away __Danielle Taylor (+195) vs. Weili Zhang (-250)__ Pick: Danielle Taylor __Marlon Vera (-450) vs. Wuliji Buren (+325)__ Pick: Stay away2018-08-02T07:15:06.725Z2018-08-02T00:00-07:00