Record: 7-9-0 for -1.03 units
Saturday, 11:50 p.m. p.m. (ESPN+)
Free UFC Pick: Henry Cejudo +170
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
When they first announced TJ vs Henry I immediately looked forward to a betable line on TJ Dillashaw. He is the bigger man and in my opinion is half of the best coach-fighter team in all of MMA. What he and head coach Duane Ludwig are doing is nothing short of amazing. I think TJ is the one of the most well rounded fighters the game has ever seen. He is an incredible wrestler for MMA, his speed is unmatched in his division, and he has KO power in both hands and feet.
I was all about TJ Dillashaw in this fight until I saw this tweet from Henry Cejudo:
Now to be clear, I am not overly buying in simply because he is in good shape for this fight. First, he is in INCREDIBLE shape. Cejudo has never looked like this. It appears he has taken the rumors of this fight deciding the fate of his division to heart and plans to defend it and his belt in the process. At the end of 2018, the UFC started letting go of fighters in the 125 men’s division and it was all but announced that they would be closing it down after longtime champion Demetrious “DJ” Johnson lost his title to Cejudo in a very close decision. Cejudo is eager to cement himself as the rightful champion that he always believed himself to be and in order to do that he has to have a division to be king of.
The motivation edge goes to Cejudo.
TJ fights at Bantamweight (135 lbs) and doesn’t have an ounce of fat on his body when he fights. For this fight he is attempting to drop an additional 10 pounds to fight at Flyweight (125 lbs) where Cejudo is comfortable and massive for the division. The main question here is: Where are those 10 pounds going to come from?
Take a look at this comparison of the two fighters a week out from the fight:
Both TJ Dillashaw & Henry Cejudo are looking like they are incredible shape for #ufcfightnight – although I’m not sure where TJ is going to find the extra weight to lose as he’s pretty shredded already? #UFC25Years #mma #ufc #champvschamp #optimalmma https://t.co/bZnybXYGiM pic.twitter.com/emW45CPw2A
— OPTIMAL MMA (@OPTIMALMMA1) January 12, 2019
Cejudo looks comfortable and insanely jacked. TJ on the other hand looks more sucked out than we have ever seen him. Yes you can see his muscles but they look quite a bit smaller than normal and he is thinner than ever and he isn’t even at fight weight yet. Henry Cejudo is a gold medal-winning wrestler and incredible athlete, and his striking has been constantly improving to the point that he stood toe-to-toe with the three best fighters flyweight had to offer and he beat all 3 to become the champion. Even if you believe that DJ won their most recent fight the fact that he fought potentially the greatest MMA fighter of a generation to that kind of close split decision speaks to how talented he is.
This fight is very very close and now with the questions surrounding TJ and his weight cutting we have to see the current line as value on Cejudo. If TJ cannot push the usual pace that he is used to or if he gasses out in round 3 or 4, Cejudo will make him pay for it and may even finish him. We will take a shot with the Olympic underdog Cejudo to defend his belt and force the UFC to keep the flyweight division alive.