UFC 227 takes place tomorrow night Los Angeles and you can see our predictions for all the fights below.
TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt
Few fans will complain about seeing these two top-notch bantamweight rivals battling it out for a second time after Dillashaw emerged victorious in their first meeting by way of KO.
Despite the result of the last outing, Garbrandt remains the more deadly striker here, with his boxing, speed and natural knockout power making him a major threat, and indeed he did have the champion hurt last time out.
Dillashaw is a polished technician too though and his kicking game is superior, while he also has the grappling advantange – though that could well be negated by Garbrandt’s excellent takedown defense.
I think the further this fight goes the more it could start to favor Dillashaw, but I believe Garbrandt’s speed and power will make their impression felt before that, hurting the champion and leading to a second round TKO stoppage.
Cody Garbrandt to win by TKO in Rd2.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo
Two years ago Johnson took just half a round to stop the former Olympic gold medalist Cejudo, a testament to just how good he is.
However, since then the talented Cejudo has made clear improvements to his game, particularly in the striking department where he’s proven to be a quick study and is now definitely more prepared and dangerous than he was in their last encounter.
Nevertheless, while that makes this a more challenging fight for Johnson, it’s still a winnable one as he’s simply on another level to everyone he faces in the Octagon at 125lbs, and I still expect his perfect fusion of all the different aspects of MMA, together with his high fight IQ and first class cardio to continue to keep him one step ahead of Cejudo, leading to either a convincing decision win or perhaps a stoppage in the championship rounds.
Demetrious Johnson to win by TKO in Rd4.
Cub Swanson vs. Renato Moicano
Despite suffering defeats to two of the best featherweights around recently, Swanson still remains a tough test for anyone in the division when it comes to a stand-up battle.
However, though Miocano has stepped up his striking to a point where he doesn’t neccessarily have to fear fighting Swanson on the feet, his clear advantage here is on the mat where his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu should pay dividends against his opponent’s underwhelming submission defense.
So, stylistically it seems like a challenging match-up for Swanson and I think Moicano gets him to the mat several times here and eventually finishes him by submission in the final round.
Renato Moicano to win by decision.
JJ Aldrich vs. Polyana Viana
It’s a tale of two classic styles in this match-up, Aldrich is the striker in this match-up, while Viana is the predatory grappler who has a habit of finishing fights on the floor.
Viana’s own striking is rather unrefined, but Aldrich doesn’t have big power and I think the Brazilian will be able to close the distance and take her to the mat, where her superiority should lead her to another first round submission finish.
Polyana Viana to win by submission in Rd1.
Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland
This fight was thrown together on short notice to open the main card as former Dana White Contender Series graduate Holland gets his chance to shine in the UFC, but against a tough contender.
Holland is well equipped though, being a threat both on the feet and on the mat, but this is a big step up in competition and I don’t believe he’s weilding the same kind of power as the hard-hitting Santos here and I think that will lead to this fight being finished sooner rather than later.
Thiago Santos to win by TKO in Rd1
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Brett Johns vs. Pedro Munhoz
Montel Jackson vs. Ricky Simon
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Ricardo Ramos
Sheymon Moraes vs. Matt Sayles
Fight Pass Prelims
Jose Torres vs. Alex Perez
Danielle Taylor vs. Zhang Weili
Marlon Vera vs. Wuliji Buren