Just one week after a thrilling UFC on Fox event in Calgary, the biggest MMA promotion will put on another loaded card with UFC 227 set to take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles this Saturday. UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will clash with Henry Cejudo before UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw takes on Cody Garbrandt in a pair of title fights at the top of the main card. Here is a closer look at the matchups heading into UFC 227.
T.J. Dillashaw vs Cody Garbrandt
UFC 227 Odds: Dillashaw -120
The rivalry between Dillashaw and Garbrandt reached its peak when Dillashaw beat his former good friend via second-round knockout at UFC 217. Now Garbrandt gets his rematch with the hope that he can win his title back. Garbrandt nearly finished Dillashaw back in November when he knocked him down in the first round but Dillashaw rallied and eventually won a battle that really could have gone either way. The fact that Garbrandt had an edge early in that fight adds plenty of intrigue to this contest.
Demetrious Johnson vs Henry Cejudo
UFC 227 Odds: Johnson -500
The co-main event for UFC 227 will see Cejudo get the opportunity to prove against one of the most recognized names in the sport that he is a championship-caliber fighter. Johnson hasn’t lost a fight since October of 2011, winning 13 straight fights including a submission win over Ray Borg at UFC 216 last October. That’s why he’s such a massive favorite. That said, Cejudo has worked hard to prepare for another title opportunity and it will be interesting to see if he can spring an upset.
Thiago Santos vs Kevin Holland
UFC 227 Odds: Holland -400
This fight is a late addition to the UFC 227 card with Dana White announcing just last week that Santos would fight Holland. Santos is coming off a first-round knockout loss to David Branch at UFC Atlantic City in April that set him back significantly in his title pursuit. Now he will try to bounce back on short notice against Holland, who won a one-sided unanimous decision over Will Santiago during season 2 of the Contender Series last month. This will be a big opportunity for both of these fighters. Holland is expected to be in control as he’s the second-biggest favorite on the entire card.
Polyana Viana vs J.J. Aldrich
UFC 227 Odds: Viana -280
Aldrich has bounced back from her loss to Juliana Lima with back-to-back wins over Chan-Mi Jeon and Danielle Taylor in her last two bouts. Now she gets the opportunity to face Viana, who is coming off a first-round submission win over Maia Stevenson in her UFC debut. Viana has nine first-round finishes on her resume and is favored in this spot. Both fighters are getting the opportunity to prove they can contend in the UFC’s strawweight division. The winner will likely get on the radar for a potential bout with Joanna Jedrzejczyk or Rose Namajunas.