UFC 227: Dillashaw vs Garbrandt II Preview and Predictions
Friday, August 3, 2018
UFC 227 takes place tomorrow night 10PM EST live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This pay-per-view (PPV) event will be headlined by title fights in the bantamweight and flyweight divsion. The highly anticipated rematch between UFC Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw (16-3-0) and former champion Cody Garbrant (11-1-0) will serve as the main-event, and the UFC 197 rematch between UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (27-2-1) and challenger Henry Cejudo (12-2-0) will co-main event the card.
There’s no love lost between UFC Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt, who were both under the tutelage of UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber at Team Alpha Male. This rivalry escalated furhter when Dillashaw left Team Alpha Male in favour of training with the team's former coach Duane Ludwig in Denver, Colorado. In 2017, the two were opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption, where they were involved in many altercations.
Dillashaw and Grabrandt fought last November at UFC 217, where Dillashaw became the new UFC Bantamweight Champion after knocking out Grabrandt at 2:41 of the second round. It wasn’t a one-sided fight by any means; Garbrandt knocked down Dillashaw in the first round, but couldn’t finish him in time because the bell sounded to end the round. In round two, a recovered Dillashaw caught Garbrandt to earn the KO victory, making him Bantamweight champion for the second time. Based on how their first fight played out and the animosity between the two, this should be an exciting main event.
PREDICTION: TJ Dillashaw to retain
In the co-main event, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson will look to continue his dominance when he takes on 2008 Olympics gold medalist Henry Cejudo in the rematch to their UFC 197 bout, that saw “Mighty Mouse” defeat the challenger Cejudo decisively following a knee to the mid-section at 2:49 of the first round.
This bout will be Demetrious Johnson’s 12th title defense, surpassing the previous record he set with his victory at UFC 217.
“Mighty Mouse” is coming off a highlight reel submission victory over Ray Borg, where he executed an armbar while slamming his opponent. Cejudo on the other hand, is coming off an impressive win over top-ranked flyweight Sergio Pettis, where he used his superior wrestling skills for the unanimous decision victory (30-27 on all scorecards).
Based on how Cejudo has looked in his last two fights, pulling off the upset over “Mighty Mouse” is a realistic possibility considering that he’ll have the hometown advantage however, it’s hard to doubt “Mighty Mouse”, who has continuously proved that he’s not only one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but one of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time.
PREDICTION: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson to retain
In Featherweight action, #5 ranked featherweight Cub Swanson (25-8-0) will look to get back in the win column when he faces #10 ranked Renato Moicano (12-1-1). This will be a tough fight for Swanson, who’s coming in to this having lost back-to-back fights; submission loss to Brian Ortega and unanimous decision loss to Frankie Edgar.
Moicano will be looking to make a name for himself at the expense of Swanson and with a win, the 29-year-old Brazilian could be in-the-mix of things in the UFC featherweight division. Swanson will have added pressure to get the win tomorrow night because a three-fight losing streak could have a negative effect on his career and potentially released from the UFC.
The 34-year-old Cub Swanson will need to use his experience to his advantage if he wants to maintain his spot in the featherweight rankings.
With the uncertainty surrounding featherweight champion Max Halloway’s health and how long he’ll be out of action, the winner of this fight could matchup with a fighter ranked in the top-3 (Brian Ortega, Jose Aldo, or Frankie Edgar) for a future title shot.
PREDICTION: Cub Swanson
Other fights on the main card include a middleweight bout between Thiago “de Lima Marreta” Santos (17-5-0) and Kevin “Trailblazer” Holland (13-3-0), and in the women’s flyweight division, Polyana “Dama de Ferro” Viana (10-1-0) takes on JJ Aldrich (6-2-0).
IN OTHER NEWS
The UFC have scheduled a press conference for today 4:30PM EST at The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, where it’s being rumored that Dana White will officially announce that Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (26-0) will be making his first UFC Lightweight Title defense against Former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion Conor McGregor (21-3), UFC Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (18-3-1) will be defending his title against Darren Till (17-0-1) at UFC 228 in Dallas, Texas on September 8th, and that Nate Diaz (19-11) will be making his return to the octagon against Dustin Poirier (24-5-1) for UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden on November 3rd.
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