Preview and picks for UFC 227

Updated August 3, 2018 - 7:18 pm

A breakdown of the fights on the main card of UFC 227 on Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles, with picks from the Review-Journal’s Adam Hill and Heidi Fang:

T.J. Dillashaw (16-3) vs. Cody Garbrandt (11-1)

Class: For Dillashaw’s bantamweight title

Line: Dillashaw minus 130

Storyline: There shouldn’t be much of a feeling-out process, as Dillashaw and Garbrandt are familiar with each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Not only were they training partners, but this is a rematch of a fight from less than a year ago when Dillashaw knocked out Garbrandt to take the belt. It’s not like the fight was one-sided, however. Garbrandt almost had Dillashaw finished in the first round only to have the bell prevent him from getting the stoppage. Dillashaw possesses outstanding footwork and the superior all-around game, but Garbrandt’s power is unrivaled in the division. There’s certainly no love lost between the two, who have orally sparred for the better part of two years. This rematch could provide some closure, though Dillashaw would almost certainly seek a rubber match should he lose. Garbrandt was shaken this week by a social media scandal, as old tweets were exposed. The issue appears to have him on edge.

Hill’s pick: Dillashaw by third-round submission

Fang’s pick: Dillashaw by decision

———

Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1) vs. Henry Cejudo (12-2)

Class: For Johnson’s flyweight title

Line: Johnson minus 500

Storyline: Johnson set the record for most consecutive successful title defenses in his last fight and has shown no signs of relinquishing his hold on the belt. His consistency in dispatching top contenders in dominant fashion has been a sight to behold. This line is a bit out of control, though. While Cejudo was knocked out in the first round in their first fight two years ago, it was by far the worst performance of his career and he has improved dramatically. The Olympic wrestling gold medalist is an elite athlete who no doubt will come in better prepared for the rematch. Johnson might be the most well-rounded fighter the UFC has seen, but there is too much value with Cejudo.

Hill’s pick: Cejudo by second-round knockout

Fang’s pick: Johnson by second-round submission

———

Cub Swanson (25-8) vs. Renato Moicano (12-1-1)

Class: Featherweight

Line: Moicano minus 300

Storyline: Moicano is a surging prospect whose only loss is to top contender Brian Ortega, and even that was a close fight. He’s primarily a striker who attacks in waves, particularly off counters when his opponents get aggressive. Moicano is coming off a win over Calvin Kattar during which he abused Kattar’s lead leg and zapped him of any aggression. Swanson is not identical to Kattar stylistically, but both are boxers and he will need to avoid the same fate. Swanson can’t keep his leg planted in front of Moicano for long stretches or he will pay the price.

Hill’s pick: Moicano by decision

Fang’s pick: Swanson by third-round submission

———

Polyana Viana (10-1) vs. J.J. Aldrich (6-2)

Class: Women’s strawweight

Line: Viana minus 140

Storyline: Viana appears to be an interesting prospect, though it’s difficult to truly gauge how good she is based on a questionable level of competition. She’s an outstanding grappler with somewhat questionable stamina. Viana will look to get the action to the ground. Aldrich is a volume kickboxer who has had success against opponents willing to stand with her and struggled with those who took her to the mat.

Hill’s pick: Viana by first-round submission

Fang’s pick: Aldrich by decision

———

Thiago Santos (17-5) vs. Kevin Holland (13-3)

Class: Middleweight

Line: Santos minus 375

Storyline: This should be a good chance for Santos, an exciting middleweight prospect whose rapid ascension was derailed by a David Branch knockout in April, to get back on track. He draws a late-replacement in Holland, who won a fight on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and used the platform to propel himself into a major opportunity. Santos is vicious with his powerful kicks. The usual recipe to beat Santos is to stay fundamentally sound and exploit his questionable defense when he gets too aggressive.

Hill’s pick: Santos by first-round knockout

Fang’s pick: Santos by third-round knockout

More MMA: Follow online at CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
Covering The Cage: UFC 229 Press Conference Wraps Up
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over what happened during the UFC 229 press conference between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like