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UFC 227: Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 Odds, Tickets, Predictions, Pre-Weigh-In Hype

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04:  (L-R) TJ Dillashaw punches Cody Garbrandt in their UFC bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 217 event inside Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

The UFC's summer blockbuster schedule draws to a close with a bad-blood rematch between Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw for the bantamweight title at UFC 227 on August 4. 

The former teammates engaged in a back-and-forth November 4 battle that saw Dillashaw shock No Love with a second-round knockout to become the champion for the second time. 

It was Garbrandt's first loss of his professional MMA career. After a meteoric rise to the championship and subsequent fall, he'll look to avenge the only blemish on his record nine months later. 

Also featured on the card is the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC's rankings Demetrious Johnson. Mighty Mouse will look to defend his flyweight belt for the 12th consecutive time in a rematch against Henry Cejudo. 

Johnson knocked out Cejudo in the first round in their first encounter in 2016. Since then Cejudo has put together back-to-back wins against Wilson Reis and Sergio Pettis to earn a second crack at the belt. 

It's a strong doubleheader of title fights to anchor the pay-per-view. Here's a look at the latest ticket information, odds via OddsShark and fight card along with a look at the latest hype for both of the biggest bouts on the card. 

Tickets: StubHub

           

Main Card (10 p.m. ET, PPV)

  • TJ Dillashaw (-120) vs. Cody Garbrandt (-110) - UFC Bantamweight Championship
  • Demetrious Johnson (-500) vs. Henry Cejudo (+350) - UFC Flyweight Championship
  • Cub Swanson (+285) vs. Renato Moicano (-375)
  • JJ Aldrich (+200) vs. Polyana Viana (-260)
  • Thiago Santos (-400) vs. Kevin Holland (+300)

            

Preliminary Card (8 p.m. ET, FX)

  • Brett Johns (+205) vs. Pedro Munhoz (-265)
  • Montel Jackson (-110) vs. Ricky Simon (-120)
  • Kyung Ho Kang (+175) vs. Ricardo Ramos (-225)
  • Sheymon Moraes (-120) vs. Matt Sayles (-110)

            

Preliminary Card (6:30 p.m. ET, Fight Pass)

  • Jose Torres (+115) vs. Alex Perez (-145)
  • Danielle Taylor (+210) vs. Zhang Weili (-270)
  • Marlon Vera (-500) vs. Wuliji Buren (+350)

         

 Garbrandt Seeking Retribution Against Dillashaw

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - APRIL 06:   (L-R) Opponents TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt face off during the UFC press conference inside Barclays Center on April 6, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

The buildup to Cody Garbrandt's rematch with TJ Dillashaw has been less intense than the first fight, but the animosity still remains. 

The former Alpha Male teammates don't like each other. They've made that known. Where most hype surrounding a fight comes from theatrics and over-the-top barbs, there's a real disdain between these two that was shown when Dillashaw screamed in Garbrandt's face at the conclusion of their first bout. 

It's a seen Garbrandt is committed to avoiding again.

"He wants to get in my face after he TKOs me. He's classless, man," the former champion said, per Kevin Iole of Yahoo. "That’s what irks me about the guy. He puts on a front for everyone and tries to be someone he’s not. He acts for the cameras. He tries to do reverse psychology and say that it's me doing it. I'm raw and real and always have been. T.J. just switches back and forth of who he is. I feel bad for the guy."

No Love also believes that the outcome of his first encounter with Dillashaw was impacted by injuries. This time, he says he feels much healthier and is ready to show fans that he's back to being the guy who outclassed Dominick Cruz for the belt. 

"Life is all about learning and growing, and so, lesson learned," Garbrandt recounted to Iole. "I got too emotionally involved with the banter before the T.J. fight. But it was all I was able to do. I couldn't do anything else because my body wouldn't let me.”

Dillashaw isn't buying the story on his end. He is preparing for the fight expecting Garbrandt to be better but believes he's making excuses for himself. 

"I prepare for everyone to be a monster,” Dillashaw said, per John Morgan of MMAjunkie. "I prepare for every situation. Same reason why I got hit in that first round, (but) I was able to come back in the second. You can't focus on this stuff. You can't overlook anybody. You've got to expect him to be awesome, right? But it's excuses, you know?"

More so than the physical health, the thing to watch will be how well Garbrandt has recovered mentally. In the first fight, he nearly finished the fight in the first round before getting careless in the second round. Dillashaw took advantage. 

The champion is a cerebral fighter, so it's possible he does it again. However, if Garbrandt is more healthy this time around and learns lessons from the first fight, he might finish what he started this time. 

This fight will test the skill and mentality of the former champion. 

Prediction: Garbrandt via second-round TKO

Humbled Henry Cejudo Ready for Second Shot at Mighty Mouse

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 23:  (R-L) Henry Cejudo knees Demetrious Johnson in their flyweight championship bout during the UFC 197 event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 23, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Henry Cejudo was supposed to be one of the legitimate contenders for Demetrious Johnson. 

The flyweight champion struggles to find 125-pounders who can challenge his well-rounded skill set in some way. In defending his belt 11 times, he's proved that some fighters simply don't deserve the opportunity to be in the cage with him. 

Cejudo wasn't supposed to be one of those people. The Los Angeles native is a gold-medal Olympic wrestler and came into his first bout with the champion at a perfect 10-0. 

Johnson didn't seem to care too much about any of that. He took just two minutes and 49 seconds to end the fight. 

The loss humbled Cejudo and encouraged him to go out of his comfort zone to find ways to get better. Since the loss, Cejudo has traveled to different gyms across the globe to refine his game and improvements have been made. 

After losing a close decision to Joseph Benavidez, Cejudo has turned in two dominating performances. Now, he thinks he's ready. 

"I'm just a more intelligent human being. Hungrier," the 31-year-old said, per Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting. The fact that I have a chip on my shoulder. Not necessarily a chip on my shoulder, but losing to Demetrious, the challenge is different, the respect level is different. I acknowledge that he’s the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, and man, I thrive off of challenges. That’s just how I am."

Meanwhile, Johnson has taken on a lot of questions about whether he'd be willing to fight Dillashaw or Garbrandt next, depending on who wins the main event. Quotes on his actual upcoming fight against Cejudo are limited. 

That isn't to say that Johnson isn't taking Cejudo seriously. Certainly, Mighty Mouse has never been anything short of professional throughout his career. 

It does feel as though Cejudo isn't getting the respect he should as a contender this time around. 

The early knockout in the first fight meant that we never got to see how Cejudo's wrestling would matchup against Johnson's over a longer period of time. That aspect of the matchup is still an interesting one to keep an eye on. 

With much improved striking over the last three fights since his first loss to Johnson, Cejudo should be able to make this fight longer and much more interesting. Mighty Mouse still has to be the pick on principle at this point, but it could be one of the better fights of his career. 

Prediction: Johnson via unanimous decision

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