Blood feud between TJ-Cody highlights UFC 227; Kovalev looks to stay on top
July 31, 2018 3:04 AM
by Alan Berg
As a guy enamored with fights since five years old, they all interest me.
However every now and then a fight comes up that is so full of blood and nastiness I am literally counting down the hours.
This Saturday from Staples Center in LA, UFC 227 features the highly anticipated rematch between UFC Bantamweight Champion T.J. Dillashaw and former champion Cody Garbrandt.
The two squared off last November in a memorable title fight. Garbrandt hurt and almost stopped Dillashaw in the first round, but the horn sounded saving Dillashaw. The second round was a 180, Dillashaw hurt Garbrandt and finished him, claiming the Bantamweight crown for the second time. Immediately after it was stopped Dillashaw mocked Garbrandt, getting right in his face with the ref having to separate them.
Another rematch in the co-main: UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo.
GARBRANDT +105 (Caesars)
DILLASHAW -110 (William Hill, CG Technology)
As you can see this is a pick’em type of fight. Both men have tremendous skill and power. Both men have fantastic takedown defense; Garbrandt has never been taken down and Dillashaw only five times (four against future Hall of Famer Dominick Cruz) in his UFC career. So how do we decide a winner?
Sometimes the best idea is to look at other options. My thought is look toward the total. I find it hard to imagine both guys being as aggressive as they were in the first fight since both hit the canvas.
Look toward the total going OVER. Both men might despise one another outside the octagon but they are likely to respect their rivals’ power in the rematch.
I expect both men to take their time and be more tactical. Dillashaw (16-3, 7KOs, 3 SUBs) will look to get the leg kicks going, Garbrandt should stick and move with his quick jab trying to control the striking game. Garbrandt (11-1, 9KOs) will seek out and attempt to counter off any combination Dillashaw puts together. The man who controls the defensive side of this fight will come out on top. The line is right, so I can’t recommend either fighter. OVER
Sergey Kovalev looks to defend his WBO Light Heavyweight Title for the second time against Eleider Alvarez on HBO this Saturday.
Kovalev, most known for his two-fights with Andre Ward, is still rebuilding his reputation as the king of the light heavyweights after Ward’s retirement.
KOVALEV -475 (TI)
ALVAREZ +400 (Caesars)
Kovalev (32-2-1, 28KOs), we all know, has tremendous power and will look for another stoppage win to impress the brass at HBO to keep paying those checks. However, if you take a look at this betting line it is clear Alvarez is no bum.
In his last two fights Alvarez looked impressive against once quality, but faded Canadian stars Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal. Alvarez’s biggest advantage – hand speed. He loves to showcase it firing multiple shots. He loves putting together punches in bunches.
That’s all well and good, but against Kovalev he will have to be much more selective of when to let his hands go. Kovalev’s power is well documented, but if Alvarez uses his boxing skill to the best of his ability, we could see an upset.
Kovalev might be a touch high, but I can see a scenario where Kovalev is behind on points but lands the huge punch needed to win. Best advice stay away from this fight and just enjoy the watch. If you absolutely must have action on this fight Alvarez would be my suggestion as he might be better experts think. PASS