UFC 227 Staff Predictions

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UFC 227: Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2
Photo Credit: UFC.com

The Octagon travels to Los Angeles, California this weekend, as UFC 227: Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 goes down live on Saturday. The event airs live via pay-per-view from the STAPLES Center featuring a highly-anticipated rematch for the UFC Bantamweight Championship in the main event.

As is always the case before a big MMA event, MMANews.com has you covered from multiple angles with pre-fight insight and analysis from multiple veteran MMA writers. Staff writers Fernando Quiles Jr., Andrew Ravens and Ian Carey will be breaking down this Saturday’s main card fights. Those include the aforementioned T.J. Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt headline bout, as well as the co-main event with Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo in a rematch for the UFC Flyweight Championship.

Rounding out the main card on PPV this Saturday will be Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland, Polyana Viana vs. JJ Aldrich and Cub Swanson vs. Renato Moicano.

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  • Bantamweight: T.J. Dillashaw (c) vs. Cody Garbrandt
  • Flyweight: Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Henry Cejudo
  • Middleweight: Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland
  • Women’s Strawweight: Polyana Viana vs. JJ Aldrich
  • Featherweight: Cub Swanson vs. Renato Moicano

UFC 227 STAFF PREDICTIONS

Cub Swanson vs. Renato Moicano

Fernando Quiles Jr.: This is definitely a pay-per-view worthy fight in my eyes. Moicano is looking to earn the biggest win of his career, while Swanson wants to prove he still has plenty of fight left. Swanson very much finds himself in a gatekeeper position at 145-pounds. Moicano’s lone defeat was at the hands of Brian Ortega. I think Swanson finds a way to land the bigger shots and have Moicano back peddling for most of the fight. I’ll take Swanson here. (Prediction: Cub Swanson)

Andrew Ravens: Swanson is desperate to get a W in the win column after sustaining back-to-back losses following a four-fight win streak as he was submitted by Brian Ortega this past December and then lost by decision to former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in April. Moicano typically brings out the best in his opponents and see it going that way this weekend. Swanson is still a top contender with some hard defeats. Thus, Swanson will be a man on a mission and gets it done by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Cub Swanson)

Ian Carey: When your only loss is to Brian Ortega, does it even count as a loss? Moicano out-struck Ortega and took him down twice in their fight last summer. He got caught in a 3rd round submission however. Other than that Moicano is perfect. I could watch a Cub Swanson fight everyday for the rest of my life and never get bored. I don’t think he’s going to win this fight, however. Moicano will move into striking distance of the top-tier featherweights following this fight. (Prediction: Renato Moicano)

CONSENSUS: Cub Swanson (2-1)

Polyana Viana vs. JJ Aldrich

Fernando: Viana is coming off a successful UFC debut, meanwhile Aldrich is looking to extend her winning streak to three. In the end I think Viana’s grappling will be too much for Aldrich. I can see Viana scoring a submission. (Prediction: Polyana Viana)

Andrew: Viana rolls into this fight on a hot streak as she has a six-fight win streak going on and is just making her second UFC appearance while Aldrich appears to continue to look for herself as a pro-MMA fighter. I believe that this is the coming out party for Viana and has a showcase fight in this bout with her scoring the first-round submission win. (Prediction: Polyana Viana)

Ian: This fight will come down to how well Aidrich can defend submissions. She should be able to out-strike Viana but if her submission defense isn’t strong she’s going to get submitted. 6 of Viana’s 10 wins come by way of submission. I think she makes it 7 out of 11 in this fight. (Prediction: Polyana Viana)

CONSENSUS: Polyana Viana (3-0)

Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland

Fernando: Holland may be familiar to hardcore fans as he was recently on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. He’s also competed for Bellator, LFA, and King of the Cage. He gets a tough opponent for his UFC debut in Santos. Many have already forgotten that prior to Santos’ KO loss to David Branch, he was riding a four-fight winning streak which included a TKO win over Anthony Smith. I think Santos’ experience will give him the edge here, but don’t sleep on Holland. (Prediction: Thiago Santos)

Andrew: Santos enters this fight with redemption in his heart after suffering a loss in his last fight that snapped his four-fight winning streak and would be the favorite to win this fight due to the fact that this marks Holland’s promotional debut after a solid win in the Dana White’s Contender Series. Don’t sleep on Holland down the road as he is a prospect but those UFC debut nerves are real, and I have Santos getting it done by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Thiago Santos)

Ian: To go from the Tuesday Night Contender series to a fight with Thiago Santos in under 2 months sure is a tough test for Holland. Santos is a 34 year old vet with 23 pro fights under his belt. He’s fought legends and champions. Santos’ experience will be too much for Holland here. (Prediction: Thiago Santos)

CONSENSUS: Thiago Santos (3-0)

UFC Flyweight Championship
Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo

Fernando: There is no doubt that Cejudo has improved tremendously. I think he’ll last much longer against Johnson than he did before, possibly going to a decision. Even so, Johnson’s speed and technique is just on another level. I don’t think Cejudo can match “Mighty Mouse” in terms of skill. Sure, Cejudo can take Johnson down but the flyweight ruler always finds a way to get back up to his feet and outclass his opponent. I’ve got Johnson to extend his title defense record. (Prediction: Demetrious Johnson)

Andrew: We’ve seen this fight once before although it was a couple of years ago and no doubt, Cejudo has grown since then into becoming a more well-rounded fighter but is there anyone in the flyweight division who is on the same page as Johnson right now? Johnson is in his prime and appears to have no other contenders who can match his skill set right now, which will likely lead to him leaving the division shortly. Johnson gets it done in a dominating unanimous decision fashion. (Prediction: Demetrious Johnson)

Ian: DJ’s title reign has included several really close fights. I was in attendance in 2012 when he defeated Joseph Benavidez to win the inaugural title. 1 of the 3 judges that night gave the fight to Benavidez. Had another judge seen the fight the same way things in the Flyweight division would have turned out quite differently. History won’t recognize his title reign as being as difficult as it has been at times, however. One title defense which was not difficult for DJ, however, was at 197 when he knocked Cejudo out in under 3 minutes. I’m not seeing any real reason to expect this fight here to go any different. (Prediction: Demetrious Johnson)

CONSENSUS: Demetrious Johnson (3-0)

UFC Bantamweight Championship
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt

Fernando: It’s hard to blink when these two throw leather. In their first encounter, Garbrandt had Dillashaw hurting in the first round before the horn sounded. Dillashaw would come back to finish off “No Love.” I think Garbrandt is taking a more measured approach this go-around, but Dillashaw can certainly match up with him well under any circumstance. This is a tough fight to call, but I’ll go with Dillashaw to once again emerge victorious. (Prediction: T.J. Dillashaw)

Andrew: Questions will be answered following this fight about if Garbrandt is the real deal and he had an off night in their first encounter at UFC 217 or if Dillashaw just has his number. Garbrandt needs to come out and fight his way as he dictated the pace of their first fight and not being hesitant to what happened in the past. I see a fired up Garbrandt who wants to prove his doubters wrong and pick up the split decision win. (Prediction: Cody Garbrandt)

Ian: I was pretty surprised at how poorly Garbrandt performed the last time these two fought. The Garbrandt who defeated Cruz was nowhere to be found. I’m willing to concede Garbrandt was impacted by his back injury going into that bout. I’m confident he defeats Dillashaw here. (Prediction: Cody Garbrandt)

CONSENSUS: Cody Garbrandt (2-1)


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What are your thoughts on the above predictions and fight breakdowns? What are your predictions for UFC 226? Sound off in the Comments section below, and make sure to join us here at MMANews.com and via Twitter @mmanews_com for the best UFC Liverpool results coverage.