UFC Brooklyn odds, betting preview: T.J. Dillashaw out to be circuit's next double champ
UFC Brooklyn odds, betting preview: T.J. Dillashaw out to be circuit's next double champ
The UFC begins its relationship with ESPN on Saturday, featuring a main event that could crown the sport's next double champ as bantamweight title-holder T.J. Dillashaw looks to win the flyweight belt against Henry Cejudo.
The UFC begins its relationship with ESPN on Saturday, featuring a main event that could crown the sport's next double champ as bantamweight title-holder T.J. Dillashaw looks to win the flyweight belt against Henry Cejudo. The Brooklyn event will be UFC's first of the year, with prelim fights airing on ESPN at 7 p.m. CT, followed by the main card on ESPN+. Dillashaw (16-3 in his MMA career) won the bantamweight title in 2017 by taking out Cody Garbrandt, and then defended his title last summer in a rematch at Staples Center. That same night, Cejudo became the first fighter to take the flyweight belt from Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson, earning a victory by decision. There are rumors this could be the final championship fight in the flyweight division, which could fold in 2019. A Dillashaw win would make him a champion in two weight classes at the same time (hence "double champ"). Amanda Nunes is currently the only other fighter to hold two belts after her win over Cris Cyborg for the featherweight title a few weeks ago. Daniel Cormier was the most recent champ-champ at heavyweight and light heavyweight, but he vacated the latter title last month. Jon Jones returned to defeat Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant championship. Conor McGregor was the first UFC fighter to simultaneously hold two championships, at featherweight and lightweight. Both belts were vacated due to inactivity while McGregor boxed Floyd Mayweather Jr. Also on Saturday's card is the UFC debut of former NFL player Greg Hardy. Hardy turned to MMA on Dana White's Contender Series when his NFL career ended following a domestic violence [arrest](https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article9140591.html). He was suspended four games, signed with the Cowboys for the 2015 season (and made six sacks in 12 games) but wasn't re-signed after the season. The arrest was later expunged from his record. [Paige VanZant](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef5uK-0zJy4) returns to the octagon after a year layoff, looking for her first win since 2016. __More:__ [UFC Brooklyn opening odds](https://www.betchicago.com/ufc-fight-night-143-odds-tj-dillashaw-henry-cejudo) ## UFC Brooklyn odds (Bovada) and preview __T.J. Dillashaw (-210) vs. Henry Cejudo (+170) -- Flyweight title__ Dillashaw is coming off four straight victories and has won eight of his last nine, with the lone loss coming to Dominick Cruz. Cejudo's put together three straight wins, the highlight being his win over Johnson. Dillashaw's unquestionably been the more impressive performer recently, with two convincing knockouts of Garbrandt. Cejudo's win over Johnson was more about ground control than actual damage. Eight of Cejudo's last nine wins have come via decision dating back to 2013, while Dillashaw has ended fights early in five of his last eight wins. The key for Dillashaw will be preventing Cejudo (13-2) from laying-and-praying. Dillashaw stops 86 percent of takedowns, while Cejudo's takedown accuracy is 35 percent. We've seen Dillashaw survive a powerful onslaught -- against Garbrandt in the first meeting -- so we know he can take whatever punches Cejudo tries to throw. The one question could be what power Dillashaw has after dropping 10 pounds to the lighter weight class. Dillashaw opened -190, with Cejudo +160 when lines were first released. __Greg Hardy (-550) vs. Allen Crowder (+375) -- Heavyweight__ The co-main event features a [favorite](https://sports.yahoo.com/greg-hardy-aiming-greatest-heavyweight-time-despite-elephant-room-235520333.html) with three career fights against Crowder, who's coming off a first-round knockout loss less than two months ago. This isn't the most interesting fight, but the UFC is a business trying to capitalize on Hardy's name while it can. Hardy is a massive favorite in his UFC debut. His three wins have all been by knockout over tomato cans gifted to him to propel him to this spot. Hardy is more accomplished than [WWE superstar CM Punk](https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2815807-ex-wwe-superstar-cm-punk-reportedly-received-call-from-all-elite-wrestling) before UFC shined the spotlight on him, but that doesn't mean he won't be another Kimbo Slice, who gets exposed at the first sign of a serious fighter. Is that Crowder? He has more experience (9-3, 1 NC) and a fight against an actual pro in Curtis Blaydes, but White wouldn't set up what he hopes to be another cash cow this early, hence the long odds. Hardy has power. Who knows if he has anything else. It's unlikely, but we'll learn that on Saturday. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXKE7TVJPGA" class="embedly-card" data-card-width="100%" data-card-controls="0">Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXKE7TVJPGA</a> __Gregor Gillespie (-550) vs. Yancy Medeiros (+375) -- Lightweight__ Gillespie is undefeated in five UFC fights, with a well-rounded game that will be tough for Medeiros to matchup with. He has two submission wins and two via KO/TKO. He absorbs few shots and has never been taken down. Medeiros (15-5) had his three-fight win streak stopped by veteran Donald Cerrone in a first-round knockout, but he's capable of finishing this fight. Four of his last five wins are via submission or KO/TKO. He takes a lot of shots (6.16 per minute) and throws more volume than signifcant strikes. As he presses forward, he'll need to be more careful than he was against Cerrone to avoid a big strike and finish at the hands of Gillespie. __Joseph Benavidez (-235) vs. Dustin Ortiz (+185) -- Flyweight__ Benavidez has won six of his last seven and is actually the last fighter to defeat Cejudo, back in 2016. He's only fought twice since then, losing to Sergio Pettis and beating Alex Perez. Ortiz has knockout power, as evidenced by his last win over Matheus Nicolau. Forty-seven percent of his wins are by KO/TKO, but Benavidez has only been finished once in his career, a KO loss in 2013 to Johnson. Those looking at prop bets might consider Benavidez to win by submission. Ortiz's last loss was by submission, and Benavidez wins 35 percent of his fights that way. This is a rematch from a 2014 fight when Benavidez won by decision. __Paige VanZant (-160) vs. Rachael Ostovich (+130) -- Flyweight__ VanZant returns looking to match results with popularity. Her UFC career started fast with three wins in a row, but when elevated to a match against now-champion Rose Namajunas, she was overmatched and submitted in the fifth round. She rebounded with a KO victory over Bec Rawlings, but lost her last two fights to Michelle Waterson and Jessica-Rose Clark. Ostovich is 1-1 in the UFC with a submission win and submission loss and will likely look to take VanZant to the ground. Ostovich has a 100 percent takedown offense and has never won a fight via KO/TKO. Two of VanZant's four losses are by submission, with 40 percent takedown defense. VanZant is down to -160 after opening -190. __Glover Teixeira (-130) vs. Karl Roberson (EVEN) -- Light heavyweight__ Teixeira has traded wins and losses in his last six fights, so if that trend continues he's due for a win. He lost to Corey Anderson in a disappointing performance back in July after building some momentum with a KO win over Misha Cirkunov. The veteran takes on Roberson, who tries to shoot his way up the rankings with a third victory in four UFC fights. Roberson opened as a -115 favorite but now finds himself in an underdog role. He lost his other time as an underdog to Cezar Ferreira. Roberson's striking defense should help against Teixeira, who has won 63 percent of his fights by KO/TKO. Roberson absorbs 1.41 significant strikes per minute compared to Teixeira's 3.57. Teixeira was a -175 favorite when he fought Anderson and lost. ## Prelim main event __Alexander Hernandez (-200) vs. Donald Cerrone (+160) -- Lightweight__ We'll highlight one prelim fight, because it's an intriguing one getting a lot of attention. Alexander "The Great" Hernandez has come on in a big way, knocking out Beneil Dariush in 42 seconds in his UFC debut, a fight he took on short notice. Then he dominated Olivier Aubin-Mercier in a decision win. Cerrone is reinventing himself in the lightweight division after a submission win over Mike Perry. The move from 170 pounds to 155 is a big one, and Cerrone already has plans for what's next after Hernandez. "Cowboy" Cerrone lands over four signicant strikes per minute compared to Hernandez's 2.99, but he takes four per minute while Hernandez absorbs just 1.47. Hernandez has come a long way to be listed as a -200 favorite. He was +260 in his debut and an underdog in his last fight as well. This is the third consecutive fight with Cerrone as an underdog. __More:__ [BetChicago's UFC coverage](https://www.betchicago.com/ufc-betting)2019-01-17T21:55:21.959Z2019-01-17T13:30-07:00