The first UFC event of the ESPN era takes place on Saturday night when UFC Fight Night takes place live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The main event has Henry Cejudo defending his flyweight title against bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.
When MMA fans get treated to a great fight like this, there are certainly plenty of bets to be made. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Cejudo vs. Dillashaw odds
As of Jan. 17, online sportsbook, SBR has Dillashaw as a sizable favorite. Dillashaw comes in at -211, meaning you’d need to wager $211 to win $100 and Cejudo is a +180 underdog, meaning if you bet $100, you’d net $180. The fight is closer than the odds reflect.
Cejudo (13-2) won the title from long time titleholder Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227 by unanimous decision. On the same show, Dillashaw scored a first round knockout of Cody Gabrandt.
Heading into the fight, Cejudo has the advantage on the ground due to winning the gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Dillashaw is a good wrestler, but Cejudo is on a completely different level. Cejudo’s taken every opponent down to the canvas and was the key catalyst in being able to dethrone Johnson.
While Cejudo’s striking has shown some significant improvement, Dillashaw (16-3) remains the superior fighter in the standup. The 135-pound champion’s decimation of Garbrandt in back to back fights is a prime example as Dillashaw beat him at his own game and staked his claim as the most violent striker in the bantamweight division.
The biggest key to the fight is how the weight cut will affect Dillashaw. It didn’t appear to be much trouble for the bantamweight champion to make weight but it will be intriguing to see if the cut has an impact on his conditioning or his ability to take a punch.
He’s said that he hasn’t weighed 125 pounds since either eighth grade or freshman year in high school but seemingly made weight comfortably on Friday morning. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was a healthy weight cut. We truly won’t know how his body will react until the cage door shuts on Saturday night.
When it is all said and done, the weight cut may prove to be too much for the bantamweight champion. Trying to make a weight that you haven’t made in 18 or 19 years can be very hurtful to the body. Cejudo is going to be able to take Dillashaw down at will and eventually wear Dillashaw down. The exhaustion is going to force Dillashaw to be slow on his punches. Cejudo will make Dillashaw pay for attempting to come down to his division and knock him out.
SN Pick: Henry Cejudo
Best odds: Heritage (+180)