UFC 188 will be held in Mexico City, Mexico, where Henry Cejudo is a heavy UFC odds favorite when he takes on Chico Camus in a bout tailor-made for the former gold medal Olympian, giving him an opportunity to bring pride to his Mexican fan base.
The Combatants: Henry Cejudo (8-0, 3 KO’s, 1 Sub) vs. Chico Camus (14-5, 4 KO’s, 3 Subs)
The Hook: All eyes will be on the 28-year-old former Olympic gold medalist freestyle wrestler to see if he can maintain his undefeated record and inject new blood into a division dominated by champion Demetrious Johnson. Of course the larger objective for the UFC is to build momentum and interest in a country that has cultivated a storied history of legendary boxers and turn that passion for fistic combat into a rabid fan base for the UFC.
What better way to start than with a rising star like Henry Cejudo who could ignite Mexican support based on natural ability and his Mexican heritage? You can bet that Dana White and the entire organization are banking on Cejudo to deliver the goods which means a win for him equates to a potential burgeoning market for the UFC.
Who Wins and How?
The overwhelming opinion of oddsmakers everywhere is that this bout will go exactly as the UFC would like. The UFC odds have Cejudo as a prohibitive favorite ranging anywhere from -714 at William Hill to -1000 at Bovada. Those lines are in keeping with Cejudo’s overwhelming likelihood to see his hand raised at the end of this match.
Cejudo is the youngest American wrestler to ever claim gold at the Olympics. He is peerless on the ground as evidenced by his outstanding grappling accomplishments yet he is becoming an increasingly proficient striker which will undoubtedly take his opponents by surprise who will be desperate to keep the fight standing up. The only fly in the ointment might be the Flyweight division in which he is competing, or more specifically the 125 pound weight maximum. On January 31st 2014 Cejudo was unable to cut weight and instead fought Elias Garcia at a 128 pound catchweight in his last fight for the Legacy FC organization. Cejudo scored a unanimous decision but it continues to be an ominous sign for his tenure in the flyweight division.
Since leaving Legacy Cejudo has scored victories in both of his UFC battles earning unanimous decisions over Dustin Kimura (as a bantamweight) and then dropping down to 125 to meet Chris Cariaso at UFC 185.
Chico Camus holds a 3-2-1 mark since entering the UFC in 2012. The 30-year-old Milwaukee native made his flyweight debut a winning one over UFC veteran Brad Pickett via a split decision on November 22nd of last year. Camus has fought as high as 145 but is now shearing the weight in order to become a force in the flyweight division. Food for thought in this one is Cejudo recently decisioned 26-year-old submission artist Dustin Kimura while Camus fell victim to a rear-naked choke by the very same Dustin Kimura back in February of 2013.
The bottom line in this one is that Chico Camus is simply outclassed and that’s nothing to be ashamed of when you are talking about a wrestler of Cejudo’s caliber. Furthermore, if you peer inside the numbers you will notice that Cejudo holds a surprising two-to-one edge in strikes landed per minute and a hardly surprising three-to-one edge in takedown average.
Unless Camus lands a clean, explosive blow that renders Cejudo helpless I simply cannot envision any other ending but a successful one for the Olympic gold medalist. Cejudo by unanimous decision is my prediction for the manner in which he defeats the cage savvy veteran.
Perusing the offshore betting odds we see most of the sportsbooks hanging UFC odds of Cejudo at -900 to -1000. However, we do see William Hill willing to offer Cejudo at -714 which is still too steep to bet flat but will certainly beef up a parlay. If you are inclined to shoot for the stars and take a longshot with Camus then Pinnacle would be your best option as they are returning a healthy +757.
Perhaps some you enterprising punters with stacks and stacks of cash would look at this as an opportunity for arbitrage with the return on Camus even bigger than the heavy lumber you would lay on Cejudo. That’s why shopping for the right numbers is always a winning bet when placing UFC picks!