UFC 227 Picks

MMA Fight: UFC 227: Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt II
Key Matches: TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt II
When: Saturday, August 4, 2018
Time: 11:00PM EST
Where: Stpales Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: PPV

by Loot, MMA Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

TJ Dillashaw, (-120), 15-3 (7 KOs, 3 Submissions) vs. Cody Garbrandt, (+100), 11-1 (9 KOs)

TJ Dillashaw defends his UFC Bantamweight Title against former champ Cody Garbrandt in the main event of UFC 227. This is a rematch from their November bout, when Dillashaw won the 135-pound title for the second time with a second-round KO of the previously-unbeaten Garbrandt. This is one of the biggest rivalries in a sport known for bad-blood. They have seen a lot of each other and the animosity runs deep. The former stablemates went to war in their first battle, with Dillashaw hurt badly in the first round before closing the show in the second. What will happen in Dillashaw-Garbrandt II.

One is almost inclined to disregard trash-talk and other elements of pre-fight buildup, but the bad feelings between these two is indeed very genuine. They have a lot of personal exposure, beyond their one fight. Former members of the same team, they sparred a lot and spent time together. Dillashaw leaving the camp created a lot of issues that carried over when they were opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter. They were scheduled to fight other times, with injuries scratching those fights. So they’ve been around each other a ton.

One of those injuries was Garbrandt’s back injury, which required surgery. He took a lot of time off after beating Dominick Cruz for the title, but more time separated from that is good for the former champ. He beat the man who beat Dillashaw for the title in a razor-close decision win. Many were taken aback at how easily Garbrandt vanquished Cruz. It didn’t help him against Dillashaw, though it looked like Garbrandt’s lightning fists would get the job done in round one. Fortunate to get hurt right at the end of the round, Dillashaw was able to survive and land some well-placed shots, including a big head kick in round two. Still only 26, Garbrandt now looks to even the score and is more than young enough to rebound. Truth be told, the fact that he hurt Dillashaw does pump some wind into the sails of his winning cause for the rematch. There aren’t many fighters in the UFC who are better with their hands than Garbrandt.

Dillashaw is no wilting lily with his hands, either. Sparring with boxing masters like Vasyl Lomachenko seemed to help him deal with the hands of Garbrandt. The 32 year old Dillashaw holds the upper hand with the first win and it has bolstered his trash-talk. Over the years, Dillashaw has rounded into a full package. He has continued to improve and is a handful—super-fast, well-versed in all areas, and with endless stamina. Not a lot of fighters are able to regain a belt in this sport and it’s a testament to Dillashaw’s make-up.

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Dillashaw might have edges in certain areas that were brought to light in their first fight. While Garbrandt showed he can hurt Dillashaw, he wasn’t able to apply it in a way that insulated himself from doom. Dillashaw, all told, is a little smarter. His trash-talk is better. In the octagon, he’s less-reckless, a product of his experience. And not that Dillashaw is immune to being hurt, but he’s likely the more-durable of the two fighters. With that long neck, Garbrandt can be reached and hurt if tagged solidly by a fighter of Dillashaw’s caliber.

Let that not detract from the full scope of Garbrandt’s menace. He’s one of those MMA fighters that aren’t hard to picture being a pro boxer. His hands are thrown with more velocity than what is commonly seen in the octagon. The way he sets up his shots shows he’s not merely a one-dimensional slugger. There’s a cerebral side to what he does. His heavy hitting took him right to the top and allowed him to dominate a well-esteemed fighter in Cruz. Dillashaw himself can attest to the fire in Garbrandt’s fists. Picking against a guy like Garbrandt can make one feel only so secure.

Maybe Garbrandt can make the mental adjustment for the rematch after appearing to let his machismo, pride, and distaste of Dillashaw affect him in the first fight. Dillashaw seemed better equipped mentally for the first fight, after maybe letting his emotions get away from him when he lost the belt to Cruz. It’s just that Dillashaw is such a tricky guy to fight, using angles and switching stances to keep his opponent from getting set. Over the years, he has added to his layers of versatility. His energy, speed, angles, and speed are all tremendous, but Garbrandt also possesses those assets, with even deadlier hands. But in all phases of MMA, it’s fair to say that Dillashaw is the more complete fighter. And since making it the upper-reaches on the MMA, no one has been able to stop him, something that Garbrandt will be looking to do and a key part of his winning prospects for this rematch.

Again, a stance against Garbrandt can’t be made with a clear head. He can throw wrecking-ball shots, especially with that big right of his. And his back is against the wall, with the prospects of another loss to Dillashaw a troubling proposition for him. I find the well-roundedness and mental game of Dillashaw to make him a more reliable choice. I think he’s sturdier and more bankable in a brawl, though Garbrandt is as dangerous as they come. I’m taking Dillashaw to get the job done in UFC 227.

Loot’s Pick to Win the Match: I’m betting on TJ Dillashaw at -120 betting odds. Did you know… that you could be wagering on fights at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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