Welcome to my inaugural and potentially last fight preview write-up for VegasSquares.com. First, a brief word about why you as a fan should consider betting on combat sports. Really, there is only one reason and it’s to make money. When compared to other sports, combat sports are where the betting lines still tend have the highest margin of error and the potential to make profitable wagers are plentiful for the keen observer.
As an example here are some recent and potential upcoming bout odds:
Holly Holm : +825
vs. Ronda Rousey: -1250
Floyd Mayweather: -200
vs. Conor McGregor: + 135
I for one jumped on the opening Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquia fight odds and bet nearly my entire net worth on Mr. Money. Granted, at the time, it was only a few thousand dollars. Okay, now that you’re excited to throw down some of that hard earned money on a few pugilistic prospects, let’s take a look at UFC 227.
The Main Event: T.J. Dillashaw -120 vs Cody Garbrandt + 100
There is certainly “no love” lost between these two former Alpha-Male teammates turned bitter rivals as they look to lock horns for the 2nd time inside the octagon. Looking at their Tale of The Tape statistics, T.J. has a 1.5 inch reach advantage and is 2 inches shorter than Cody. The reach advantage should help T.J. keep Cody in his striking range while the height discrepancy actually helps T.J. should they decide to take a break from hitting each other in the face with every limb and wrestle for some reason. Cody is the superior pure boxer, while T.J. is the better all around striker. If T.J can avoid moving back in a straight line vs Cody’s attacks, (something he didn’t do very well in some portions of their 1st fight) he should be able to negate Cody’s biggest weapon, his powerful hands. Given their history and the fact that T.J.’s coach religiously studies opponents fight film to build strategies, i would strongly consider placing a bet on T.J. Dillashaw at -120 to win outright.
Co-Main Event Demetrious Johnson -535 vs Henry Cejudo +420
Demetrious Johnson is the G.O.A.T. at flyweight. He’s held the title since it was first introduced at UFC 152 in 2012 and has since defended it a record setting 11 times. With a win over Henry Cejudo, Demetrious Johnson will have essentially cleared his division twice, something akin only to what Anderson Silva accomplished in his prime. Demetrius is a well versed complete MMA fighter, but he doesn’t seem to get the credit and respect that he deserves from casual MMA fans.
Henry Cejudo is a Olympic gold medalist wrestler who has transitioned into a successful career in MMA. I’m of the opinion that wrestling is the most important base from which to build an MMA athlete and Henry has done a fine job of closing the gap in the other combat disciplines. The question is, has he improved enough to beat the Mighty Mouse GOAT?
Looking at this fight purely from an MMA skill perspective, Demetrius is the superior athlete and the odds clearly reflect that. Henry was able to get one take down vs Demetrius in their first bout, but was unable to capitalize on it and got finished with some crisp striking in the 1st round. That being said, the few times Demetrius Johnson has show some kinks in his armor, it has been in his wrestling. With Brad Pickett and Dominick Cruz both getting the best of him in 2010 and 2011. However, in sports betting looking at the skills is only one side of the coin. It’s also critical to look at the odds being offered. And at +420, Henry Cejudo has to win 19.23% of the time, which sounds about right to me.
Matt Sayles: -140 vs Sheymon Moraes: +110
The last fight i want to look at for UFC 227 is Matt Sayles vs Sheymon Moraes. Matt Sayles hails from Alliance MMA in San Diego which is home to a very strong team. Matt possesses solid boxing and is generally well rounded. Matt won a contract with the UFC through Dana Whites Contender series and is looking to make a name for himself in the fight game.
Matt’s opponent at UFC 227 is Sheymon Moraes. Sheymon trains with Team Nogueira/Blackhouse, has a very strong background in Muay Thai and holds a blue belt in jiu-jitsu.
Looking at the tale of the tape both fighter have similar records, identical height and are close in age. However, Shaymon does has a 2 inch reach advantage which could be significant in a fight where both combatants prefer to strike. Looking a bit at Shaymon’s record we do see two losses by way of submission. One in the 3rd round vs Marlon Moraes who is a legit black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. And the other in the 3rd round to Zabit Magomedsharipov who is probably the uncrowned champ in the division. Given that jiu-jitsu is a bit of a weak point in Sheymons game, perhaps we might see Matt try to capitalize on this. But i think this will be a stand-up bout in which case i give the edge to Shaymon and take the +110 odds.
Well, there you have it, a quick and dirty look at some of the fight on the UFC 227 card. If i was to rank the fights in preferred betting order it would be.
1. T.J. Dillishaw -120
2. Shaymon Moraes +110
3. Henry Cejudo at +420
Thanks for reading and good luck.
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