On Friday, the UFC announced two very big fight signings that will take place, in October we have Conor McGregor returning to action against Khabib for the 155lb undisputed title, and in November Nate Diaz will face off against Dustin Poirer. The MMA community is going insane over these two signings, but this Saturday night, the UFC is headed to the city of angels in Los Angeles, to bring us PPV action. After the Fox card being action packed but having the lowest ratings in history on a Fox card, this PPV needs to sell and it needs to be full of action and exciting fights.
Leading off the Action we have grizzled vet and #12 ranked Middleweight Thiago Santos (17-6-0) against Kevin Holland (13-3-0) who did not get a contract by winning on Dana White’s Contender series in June, even though he had a dominant unanimous decision victory. The UFC in desperate need of up and coming stars, not only decided to sign the Texas-based Middleweight, but threw him on the main card of the PPV. Besides the unanimous decision on The Contender, Holland is the type of fighter who likes to finish fights with strikes and submissions making him a very difficult fighter to deal with once that Octagon door closes. He is currently on a 4 fight win streak in MMA and has 2 very impressive wins in Muy Thai bouts. Thaigo Santos is coming off a devastating loss to David Branch in his last outing, and is looking to put himself back on another fight win streak. Until his match with Branch, Santos had been on a 4 fight win streak with his last win coming by way of referee stoppage against Anthony Smith who is on a tear in the organization right now. Santos is a heavy handed Brazilian monster who loves to finish fights just like his opponent. This fight has all the makings to set the tone for this evening with great highlight finishes, but I think Holland has what it takes to take out Santos and I believe he will do it by knockout in the 2nd round.
Our second bout of the evening has the women’s Strawweight divison on display, when Polyana Vania (10-1-0) looks to continue her 6 fight win streak against the Invicta veteran JJ Aldrich (6-2-0). Aldrich is coming into this fight off a win in her last fight getting an impressive unanimous decision win against Danielle Taylor. Aldrich is skilled in all aspects of fighting, and when you’re fighting her you need to pack a lunch because going the distance seems to be something she enjoys doing. Her opponent Polyana Vania however, is a finishing machine, all of her wins in her professional career have come by way of KO or submission. To say she is skilled in every area of fighting would be an understatement, her last win was her UFC debut, where she submitted her opponent with a rear-naked choke in the first round. In this bout it’s obvious that Aldrich is the underdog, and I love a good underdog story, but in this matchup the skill that Vania has will far outweigh the amazing heart that Aldrich has. Vania will be able to mix it up enough on the feet to make Aldrich get desperate and shoot for the takedown, and from there Vania will take her out by submission in the 1st round.
Our third contest of the evening is a Featherweight bout featuring Cub Swanson (25-9-0) faces off against Renato Carneiro (12-1-1). Swanson is coming off two losses in a row to Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar. The long time MMA vet really has had such a strange career in MMA. He’s gone on big fight win streaks against very big names and tough competitors, but once he starts getting himself a seat at the table in title contention talks he has a bad night and gets shuffled at the bottom of the pile again. Swanson is as tough as they come and has great skills and an amazing chin. I do feel that his long career and amazing wars he has been in are really taking their toll on him, and with the competition getting younger, faster and stronger I don’t know how many more fights we are going to see with Cub in the UFC. His opponent Carneiro also has a submission loss to Brian Ortega by guillotine choke, but in his last bout Carneiro defeated Calvin Kattar by decision. There’s no guessing where Carneiro wants to take this fight, he wants it on the ground and he wants to win by submission. Swanson is very tough to take down and has great standup, so this test for Carneiro is going to be beyond tough. In this fight I think that experience will be the key to victory, Cub Swanson will win this fight by decision. Cub will be smart enough to keep it on the feet and not let Carneiro settle in and get comfortable and ride home with a unanimous victory.
Our co-main event is a fight that we have seen before, and quite frankly no one really wanted to see again, at least not this soon. Henry Cejudo (12-2-0) is trying for a second time to dethrone one of the greatest fighters in MMA history Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (27-2-1). When the UFC signed the Olympic wrestler, they thought he had what it took to defeat Mighty Mouse, and boy were they wrong. Mighty Mouse defeated Cejudo in 2:51 into the first round, popcorn cooks longer than that fight took. Then in his next bout Cejudo lost to Joseph Benavidez at the Ultimate Fighter 24 finale. Since then, Cejudo has beaten Wilson Reis and Sergio Pettis which is impressive, but to say after 2 years he is on Johnson’s level, I don’t think so. Johnson is just too fast and too skilled for that ENTIRE division, there is no one in there at this very moment that can beat him. Johnson will win this fight pretty much by what he wants, and when he wants to do it in. I can see him trying to take this fight a little longer, and put Cejudo out in the 3rd round by knockout.
Our main event of the evening is a rematch the people wanted to see, but did not think it would happen this soon. After TJ Dillashaw (15-3-0) knocked out Cody Garbrandt (11-1-0) in the 2nd round, the MMA community went insane because of the talks that TJ and DJ would meet in a super fight. In true UFC fashion, that fight didn’t happen, DJ went for shoulder surgery and the UFC decided to make the rematch between TJ and Cody. In most cases, I think it’s only fair that the former champ deserves a rematch, but in this case I didn’t think it worked. Cody lost his first defense and I believe he should have had to fight someone at the top to get back to the belt. In the past few months Marlon Moraes has done enough to warrant a title shot, and since the TJ vs DJ fight didn’t happen, it should have been Marlon fighting TJ for this event. Buuuuuuuuut this is the UFC, and if they did too many things that made sense, the mountains would crumble to the sea, and the end of days would be upon us. The fight with Cody and TJ will be exciting just like the first meeting was, with Cody being 100% healthy (his words not mine) there are no excuses if he comes out on the losing end. His great boxing and wrestling make him an incredible force in the division and his total dominance over former champ Cruz was a masterpiece, but Dillashaw’s constant stance changes, lightning fast speed and power make him the top dog of that division and I don’t see anyone taking that belt away from him. This fight will be a standup war to start out with, but I think TJ will get in Cody’s head once that cage door closes taking Cody out of his game and make mistakes. Tj retains the championship and he does so by knockout in the 3rd round.
UFC 227: TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt 2 Official Fight Card :
(10 PM ET, PPV)
TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt
Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo
Cub Swanson vs. Renato Moicano
JJ Aldrich vs. Polyana Viana
Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland
Preliminary Card #2
(8 PM ET, FX)
Brett Johns vs. Pedro Munhoz
Montel Jackson vs. Ricky Simon
Irene Aldana vs. Bethe Correia
Sheymon Moraes vs. Matt Sayles
Preliminary Card #1
(6:15 PM ET, UFC Fight Pass)
Jose Torres vs. Alex Perez
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Ricardo Ramos
Danielle Taylor vs. Zhang Weili
Marlon Vera vs. Wuliji Buren
Article By: Tommy Dee
Photo Credit: MMAJunkie