Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the hurt business tonight (Sat., Aug. 4, 2018) with UFC 227, which is set to go down from inside Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The pay-per-view (PPV) event will feature a Bantamweight championship rematch between current champion T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt. In the co-main event, Demetrious Johnson will once again put his Flyweight title on the line against Henry Cejudo.
Dillashaw was very adamant Cody did not deserve a rematch after he knocked him out at UFC 217 in Nov. 2017. But, after a failed “super fight” between UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, Dillashaw had no other choice but to suck it up and accept the do-over. The hatred between the two hasn’t died down one bit, but the trash talk between the two has been kind of weak this time around.
No fret, it’s not needed, they did enough bickering the first time around. Everyone understands that they don’t like each other. There’s no doubt both feel better and improved, but Dillashaw has that first win, so he is riding high on confidence, and don’t be surprised to see Cody a bit gun shy to start. But, once they start swinging, it could get nasty.
Johnson has, in fact, cleaned out the 125-pound division to the point that he’s had to rematch people he’s already dominated once before. But, since he has no plans on moving up to the Bantamweight division anytime soon, that’s the way it’s going to be for a while. And that means his title defense record could be astronomical, as he is going for 12 straight against Cejudo, a man he knocked out a few years ago. To his credit, Cejudo worked his way up so he is deserving of another crack at the crown. Johnson hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, which means if we have a repeat of their first fight, “Mighty Mouse” will have to wonder if he really wants to keep recycling through the same fighters or move up to 135 pounds for new challenges.
Should both T.J. and Demetrious hold on to their straps once the dust settles, it could finally set up a much-talked about collission between the champions.
After the Alexander Gustafsson vs Volkan Oezdemir fight was scrapped, the promotion didn’t make much of an effort to fill the card with an intriguing third fight to compliment the championship doubleheader, adding Thiago Santos vs Kevin Holland to the mix.
Original Card vs Actual Card:
As mentioned earlier, Gustafsson was set to face Oezdemir in a pivotal Light Heavyweight bout before “No Time” was forced out with a broken nose. A few weeks later, Gustafsson bowed out with an injury of his own after Anthony Smith offered to step in to fill the void.
Montel Jackson stepped in to fill the void for Benito Lopez, who was forced out of his fight against Ricky Simon.
Aside from Volkan’s injury, a women’s bantamweight showdown between Bethe Correia and Irene Aldana was scrapped just a few days before fight night after California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) deemed Bethe unfit to compete because of an undisclosed injury.
Kevin Holland was pegged to make his UFC debut against Thiago Santos on short notice, and he’ll get some prime real estate in his first bout as it will be the opening fight of the PPV portion of the event. The aforementioned Jackson was also the beneficiary of an injured fighter, stepping in for Lopez to face Ricky Simon. Also, Matt Sayles will make his first-ever leap into the Octagon to face off against Sheymon Moraes. To get more acclimated with these three UFC newcomers, click here to see Patrick Stumberg’s highly-detailed piece on all of UFC 227’s “New Blood.”
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
Pedro Munhoz and Brett Johns will headline the underbelly of the event in a highly-intriguing Bantamweight showdown. Both men are on the cusp of taking the next leap in their respective careers, and a win for either one of them will help them get there. To be honest, that’s the only intriguing bout on the “Prelims,” but to get a more detailed look at what’s going on downstairs click here and here.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Cub Swanson has lost two in a row, getting choked out by Brian Ortega in Dec. 2017 and then dropping a unanimous decision to Frankie Edgar four months later. “Killer Cub” needs to score a much-needed victory against Renato Moicano to avoid his first-ever three fight skid of his professional combat career.
Moicano is no walk in the park, but when it comes to experience and pedigree, Cub has him beat. Whether or not that translates into an actual victory remains to be seen.
Interest Level: 7/10
It’s an okay card, but it really isn’t shouting “buy me.” Plus, it doesn’t really seem like it’s been promoted heavy. Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 is definitely a must watch, but I simply can’t get up for the do-over between Johnson and Cejudo. Henry could very well shock the world, so it has that going for it. But, I feel like we should be way more excited for a fight featuring the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and the most dominant champion UFC has ever seen. We could be in for an exciting night of fights, but on paper, it’s not really standing out. Am I wrong?
Full Fight Card:
UFC 227 PPV Main Event:
135 lbs.: UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt
UFC 227 PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo
145 lbs.: Renato Moicano vs. Cub Swanson
115 lbs.: J.J. Aldrich vs. Polyana Viana
185 lbs.: Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland
UFC 227 Prelims on FX (8 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Pedro Munhoz vs. Brett Johns
135 lbs.: Ricky Simon vs. Montel Jackson
135 lbs.: Kyung Ho Kang vs. Ricardo Ramos
145 lbs.: Sheymon Moraes vs. Matt Sayles
UFC 227 Prelims on Fight Pass (6:30 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Alex Perez vs. Jose Torres
115 lbs.: Danielle Taylor vs. Weili Zhang
135 lbs.: Wuliji Buren vs. Marlon Vera
For more upcoming UFC events click here.