UFC 227 - California Breakdown & Predictions

When is UFC 227? Sunday 5th August, 2018 – 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 227? Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

What channel is UFC 227 on? BT Sport 2

Where can I stream UFC 227? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT website

Are tickets still available for UFC 227? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets
 

TJ Dillashaw vs Cody Garbrandt

TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt represent the pinnacle of MMA right now and their relationship is one of the most exciting rivalries in the UFC. It’s deep, bitter, hostile and this is exactly what was served up at UFC 217. Their talent was displayed all over the octagon in an incredibly intense exchange that lasted less than two rounds with TJ Dillashaw emerging as the victor, regaining his title.

The pace was frenetic but you could view the effects of several hours spent sparring as training partners as their defence was exceptional. You could hear the combinations flashing through the air as each other intuitively ducked and weaved out the way but as the fight went on, they started to land.

Garbrandt enjoyed the first knockdown after showboating his way through the first round putting Dillashaw in serious trouble just before the bell. However, Dillashaw dusted himself off in the second round and landed a flurry of hooks to finish his rival.

With everything at stake – the rivalry, the skill level, the bantamweight title – it was one of the most intense battles and it could have gone either way so be rest assured that this war is far from over. 
 

PREDICTION

They both have two of the best striking defences in the division and you can see from their significant striking stats in their last fight, their defence was on point as usual but they proved just how powerful they are causing severe damage when they landed cleanly.

In the rematch, we expect them to throw with more caution but with the same velocity focusing on the hooks from close range that led to the knockdowns. The success of their striking accuracy will all come down to their dynamic and rapid movement – especially Dillashaw.

They know each other’s patterns so well but with the help of the masterminds in their corners, they need to work on small tweaks to create an opening to land cleanly. So tough to call but the tweaks in their game plan will make all the difference.

Winner: Garbrandt via KO/TKO

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric

TJ v Garbrandt.JPG

Demetrious Johnson vs Henry Cejudo

The first of two rematches for a UFC title has the pleasure of gracing the Staples Center in California. The co-main event features the pound-for-pound king, Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson and the number one contender, Henry ‘The Messenger’ Cejudo.

Portraying Johnson’s dominance in the division, Cejudo has been given a second opportunity to dent the status of the flyweight champion even though he was completely outclassed in their fight back at UFC 197. Since the defeat Cejudo lost a close decision to Joseph Benavidez but he responded with two phenomenal performances – a TKO over Wilson Reis and a decision over Sergio Pettis.

Mighty Mouse has picked off three more contenders in the meantime and after recovering from injury he is ready to put on a show again. He will be a huge favourite but Cejudo has not only improved but has added a whole new dimension to his game. The Olympic Wrestler has looked like a mini Lyoto Machida recently and is desperate to prove he can stand with Johnson.


PREDICTION

What was shocking in their first fight was that the gold medal winning Wrestler was out-grappled on the way to getting knocked out. Cejudo landed a takedown but was dismissively kicked off his feet enabling Mighty Mouse to spring back up.

The majority of the fight then took place in clinch but Johnson overwhelmed The Messenger with immaculate technique and timing allowing him to land a vicious knee that ultimately ended the fight.

This fight could really go anywhere – mainly because Mighty Mouse is good enough to do as he pleases. He is arguably the most complete fighter ever so it is down to Cejudo to back the strength of his wrestling but also leverage his new skills to surprise Johnson. Mighty Mouse rarely gets hit and has never been finished so Cejudo will need something special to cause any trouble but he has improved drastically in two years and he can hang with the champ for five rounds but unlikely to pull off an upset.

Winner: Johnson via Decision

DJ v Cejudo.JPG

Thiago Santos vs Kevin Holland

Only six weeks ago, Kevin Holland appeared on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and earned an impressive decision over Will Santiago Jr which has given him a dream opportunity to fight on the big stage of UFC 227 and deservedly so. He is a hot prospect and now gets a taste of the big time as he meets the fearsome knockout artist that is Thiago Santos.

Santos is mean, aggressive and an absolute brute. He is disturbingly comfortable in exchanging bombs which has seen him finish seven out of his last eight fights with a knockout. However, his reckless style means he is susceptible to a knockout himself and felt the consequences with a devasting loss to David Branch in his last fight.

Holland has also earned a reputation as a fearsome striker but has taken less damage in his young career. However, this will be his fourth fight already this year and is the biggest name he has fought so far in his career.


PREDICTION

This is going to be a stand-up war and both men will hunt the chin from the bell. This is a huge step-up in competition for Holland but he has little to lose and only lost one of his last 10 fights. However, fighting so frequently can work both ways – he has all the form and confidence but three fights in six months will have taken its toll on his body, not just during the fights but during the training camps and weight cuts.

This fight is unlikely to last the three rounds and the result will depend on what Santos turns up. He can end the fight in a second but if he doesn’t respect the striking and reach of Holland we could easily see a repeat of his last fight with Branch.

Winner: Holland via KO/TKO

Santos v Holland.JPG

Polyana Viana vs JJ Aldrich

Polyana Viana is one of Brazil’s top female prospects and her fans can’t wait to see her perform at UFC 227. She has only lost one fight in her career and looked exceptional in her UFC debut back in February. She completely dominated Maia Stevenson on the ground putting on a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu clinic.

JJ Aldrich will be the toughest fight of her career so far and although she is only 6-2, she is a huge threat with great cardio and outstanding striking from a Taekwondo base. She is also really picking up momentum at them moment and coming off two well-earned decisions to Chan-Mi Jeon and Danielle Taylor.


PREDICTION

Viana is going to look to get the fight to the ground and Aldrich is going to attempt to keep the Brazilian at a distance by peppering her on the feet. However, this isn’t a classic grappler vs striker match-up as Aldrich’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu evolves every time she fights and Viana’s striking credentials speaks for themselves with four knockouts.

Viana is desperate to prove the hype is real and although her stats are inflated as she has only had one UFC fight - she is one of the best finishers in the division and it is hard not to back her in this one.

Winner: Viana via Submission

Viana v Aldrich.JPG

Cub Swanson vs Renato Moicano

The main card in Los Angeles kicks off with thorough fan-favourite, Cub Swanson and rising star, Renato Moicano. This will be Swanson’s 16th UFC fight and although he is coming off two losses, he is still one of the best in the featherweight division and is adamant in derailing Moicano who has only one loss to his name.

This loss came to Brian Ortega via submission which highlights just how good Ortega is as Moicano is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wizard. Ortega also strangled Swanson who then went on to get outpointed by Frankie Edgar.

They are at very different stages of their career but are battling out with some of the best in the division and a win at UFC 227 is likely to set up another fight with a top five opponent.


PREDICTION

We know what to expect from Swanson. He is going to come out frothing with energy and throw as hard and as often as possible in his usual unorthodox style. He will look to overwhelm the Brazilian with a high output and grind him down minute by minute.

On paper, you would think Moicano has to get the fight to the mat but Swanson has a very underrated ground game and likes to attack from his back. Although Moicano has not won a fight via knockout he is a dangerous and talented striker and he may just decide to stand and trade with the veteran.

As unpredictable and nasty Swanson is on the feet – he is prone to taking damage and Moicano will look to capitalize on that and if he can defend the wild onslaught, he can grind out a victory.

Winner: Moicano via Decision

Swanson v Moicano.JPG