Henry Cejudo will make the first defense of his UFC flyweight title against the unlikeliest of all challengers. Cejudo will not defend it against a fellow flyweight but he will do so against the current UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. The two will square off on Saturday, January 19th in the main event of UFC Fight Night 143 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Henry “ The Messenger” Cejudo won the UFC flyweight title from Demetrious “Mighty Mouse: Johnson at UFC 227 in April last year. Johnson had previously knocked out Cejudo in their first encounter but Cejudo made excellent adjustments to take the rematch.
Cejudo stands at 5-4 with a reach of 64 and fights out of the orthodox stance. The Messenger has a record of 13-2-0. Cejudo averages 3.42 significant strikes landed per minute and also absorbs 2.6 significant strikes per minute. On the ground, Cejudo is again more prolific at 2.31 takedowns completed per 15 minutes.
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TJ Dillashaw in on his second reign as bantamweight champion. He gained prominence for his UFC 173 upset of Renan Barao. Dillashaw defended the belt three times,losing it on the third time to Dominick Cruz. Dillashaw worked his way back to the top after back to back knockout wins over Cody Garbrandt.
Dillashaw is averaging 5.38 significant strikes landed per minute while absorbing 2.94 significant strikes per minute. TJ is also great on the ground as he lands an average of 1.69 touchdowns per 15 minutes. Dillashaw is also attempting 1.0 submissions per 15 minutes.
No question that it is going to be stylistic fight with Dillashaw looking to keep this a strictly striking affair where he has the advantage in height and length over his opponent. On the other hand , Cejudo is hoping that he can force Dillashaw to clinches where he can utilize his world class wrestling and put Dillashaw down on the canvass.
It’s worth mentioning that most super fights we’ve seen featured a champion moving up in weight to challenge another champion. However, this one is unique because Dillashaw who is moving down in weight to meet Cejudo. In our usual super fights, the fighter moving up in weight has the perceived size and strength advantage but in this case, because the bigger man is going to shed 10 pounds to make the lower weight, I’m not sure what physical condition Dillashaw will be for this fight having to shed an extra 10 pounds than the usual camp.
Moneyline Odds: TJ Dillashaw -222 at gtbets.eu
Moneyline Odds: Henry Cejudo +195 at betonline.ag
Dillashaw looked gaunt in the face-offs this week, probably a result of the weight cut. And if that is sign of things to come, I like Henry Cejudo here. Dillashaw is coming to Cejudo’s neighborhood and i think he isn’t going to be the same fluid striker he is at 135 with the weight cut. Dillashaw is the safe bet here but there’s value in Cejudo given how good he’s improved his striking over the years.
It’s not going to be that dominant but I think Henry Cejudo takes this fight. This is his weight class and he’s going to take control with his wrestling. We’re picking Henry Cejudo to win on points. It’s going to be close and it’s going to be a fun fight to watch.
Our Pick: Henry Cejudo by decision.
Over/Under Odds: Over 4.5 -125 at sportsbetting.ag
Over/Under Odds: Under 4.5 -105 at betonline.ag
Cejudo has gone the distance in all but two of his UFC bouts. Meanwhile, Dillashaw has finished five out of his last eight UFC bouts. If TJ wins, most likely it will be by stoppage but if Cejudo wins this, it’s going to go the full route. I don’t think Cejudo has the power to knock out Dillashaw.
Our Pick: Over 4.5, Cejudo is going to shock the world again here and beat TJ by decision.