Henry Cejudo vs. T.J. Dillashaw - 1/19/19 UFC Fight Night 143 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Henry Cejudo vs. T.J. Dillashaw
Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 11:30 PM (Barclays Center)
The Line: Dillashaw -196 / Cejudo +174 -- Over/Under: 4.5
Henry Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 143 at the Barclays Center.
Henry Cejudo enters this fight with a 13-2 record and has won 58 percent of his fights by decision. Cejudo has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a August win over Demetrious Johnson. Cejudo is averaging 3.42 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Cejudo is averaging 2.31 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 35 percent. Cejudo is coming off a controversial split decision where he won the UFC Flyweight Championship and earned fight of the night honors. Cejudo has now won each of his last three fights and has earned bonuses in two of those bouts. As for his skill set, Cejudo is arguably the most accomplished wrestler in the sport, as he has several gold medals and is usually always in control of a fight on the canvas. While wrestling is his background, Cejudo is always a much improved striker with five knockouts on his resume, and he lands 62 percent of his strikes standing up. Cejudo has become a more complete fighter over the years and has only been finished once in his MMA career. Regardless, Cejudo is a well conditioned fighter who averages over 13 minutes per fight, so he’s ready for the long game and sees an awfully lot of fights go to the judges. This will be Cejudo’s first career fight in New York.
T.J. Dillashaw enters this fight with a 17-3 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Dillashaw has won each of his last four fights and is coming off a August win over Cody Garbrandt. Dillashaw is averaging 5.38 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Dillashaw is averaging 1.69 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 37 percent. Dillashaw is coming off a first round knockout where he successfully defended his UFC Bantamweight Championship and earned performance of the night. Dillashaw has now produced knockouts in five of his last seven victories and he’s had two of his quicker fights in his last two bouts. Dillashaw is an obvious accurate and powerful striker who does a lot of his damage standing up where he puts his legs and knees to work as well, but he has a viscous ground and pound and a high quality defense. For the most part Dillashaw is a patient fighter who has seen eight of his last 10 fights go at least into the third round, and he’s averaging almost 12 and a half minutes per bout. As he approaches 33 years old, we could very well be seeing Dillashaw get better if his last two fights are any indication of things to come. This will be Dillashaw’s second career fight in New York.
There’s clear value with Cejudo and the plus money based on how much he’s improved over the years and the fact he probably has the edge if this fight was to go to the canvas. The problem is Dillashaw is the much bigger fighter with a three inch reach advantage and a two inch height advantage. That’s key when you factor in Dillashaw’s striking and the fact he’s on a knockout spree all of a sudden. One mistake from Cejudo, and he could be finished for the second time in his career. Both of these fighters are well conditioned and usually go deep into fights, so the over 4.5 rounds is worth a look if you’re looking to bet the fight and lay less juice.
But in terms of who wins, Dillashaw is the safe bet based on his size advantage, defense and clear edge in striking. Dillashaw should be able to control the pace and where this fight ends up, which is all you can ask for as a fighter. Make your opponent fight your style, and Dillashaw is damn good when he gets his way.
Dillashaw is victorious.