Pettis has long been trying to make his way through the flyweight division to reach the top and earn a shot at Demetrious Johnson. He’s now been considered a prospect for too long and his win against Brandon Moreno now puts him in a position to challenge for the UFC Bantamweight Championship if he can defeat Cejudo.
Both of these martial artists are improving significantly every time that we see them step inside the octagon. For Pettis, his hands have developed to a point in which he can easily handle his opponents with his boxing alone. His timing and hand speed sees him often rely on sitting back and waiting for the best opportunities to strike.
Cejudo, on the other hand, entered mixed martial arts with incredible wrestling accolades. But now, his striking is to be feared. It’s important to note that while his beatdown of Wilson Reis was impressive, Reis is predominantly a grappler.
It will be interesting to see how effective Cejudo’s striking is against one of the better strikers in the division in Pettis.
Prediction and Betting Guide
While Pettis fights to win, Cejudo fights to destroy. Cejudo has been on a mission to earn another shot at Demetrious Johnson and get his revenge ever since he lost to him in the first round of UFC 197. That continues at UFC 218 and he might just be the third person to defeat (and finish) Sergio Pettis.
Prediction: Henry Cejudo by KO/TKO – Round 3
You can find the best odds for Henry Cejudo to win at BetOnline
Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje is sure to be violence at its very best.
Alvarez returns to the octagon for the first time since his involvement in an unusual, but equally entertaining, bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC 211. After being rocked by Poirier, Alvarez managed to regain his feet and connected with a series of punches that changed the course of the fight completely. He grounded Poirier before dishing out an entirely illegal knee that caused an end to the contest.
Justin Gaethje is one of the strangest fighters to analyze in all of mixed martial arts – but that’s what makes him so fun to watch.
He’s crazy, wild, relentless, and fights with pure aggression. He doesn’t take a step back and is willing to be involved in firefights. What’s strange about all of this, however, is that he has somehow managed to keep a clean record through 18 fights. Michael Johnson caught him with hard shots at times, but Gaethje managed to stay composed. Johnson’s hands are excellent, and possibly even better than Alvarez’s, which leaves me with plenty of confidence to back Gaethje in this contest.
For many of us, the image that we see of Eddie Alvarez inside our minds is him being on the end of that brutal one-sided beatdown from Conor McGregor at UFC 205. Alvarez didn’t have a chance against the hands of McGregor and ended up eating vicious shots to the face for the entirety of the bout. But, it’s important to remember that Alvarez only recently knocked out the seemingly unstoppable Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 90 just after defeating Anthony Pettis via split decision.
Prediction and Betting Guide
While Gaethje doesn’t fight with the same technical prowess that McGregor has, he is going to be able to walk through all of Alvarez’s best shots while putting money in the bank with his devastating leg kicks.
As tough as each of these fighters are, they’re both willing to put their chin at risk, which makes the length of this contest so much harder to predict.
Prediction: Justin Gaethje by KO/TKO – Round 3
You can find the best odds for a Justin Gaethje victory at BetOnline
Michelle Waterson vs. Tecia Torres
Two fighters with different trajectories will collide at UFC 218 when Michelle Waterson meets Tecia Torres in a strawweight bout.
While Tecia Torres doesn’t have the same ‘name-power’ as Waterson, Andrade, or Gadelha in the list of contenders, she has been tearing her way through everybody not named Rose Namajunas. With consecutive wins over Bec Rawlings and Juliana Lima, Torres has put herself in a prime opportunity to position herself right underneath the very best in the division.
If there’s one thing that concerns me about Michelle Waterson, it’s her lack of aggression. While she is incredibly technical, as we saw in the contest with Paige VanZant at UFC on FOX 22, she doesn’t have the ‘fire’ inside of her that can take her game to a whole new level.
Tecia Torres is an opponent that requires you to be completely ‘switched on’ for. She fights with an incredible level of intensity, shooting in and out with fast footwork to land her strikes or attempting to take her opponent down to the mat and outwork them there.
This won’t happen against Michelle Waterson and she will need to find a way to get this one down the mat in order to win. While she might just do this, there’s also a big chance that Waterson pieces her up with effective strikes.
Prediction: Michelle Waterson by KO/TKO – Round 1
You can find the best odds for Michelle Waterson to win at Bet365
Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis Henry Cejudo to win
Saturday, 2 December – 11:00 pm (ET) / 4:00 am (GMT)
Odds: 43/1001.43-2350.43-2.350.43 – BetOnline
Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje Justin Gaethje to win
Saturday, 2 December – 10:30 pm (ET) / 3:30 am (GMT)
Odds: 57/1001.57-1750.57-1.750.57 – BetOnline
Michelle Waterson vs. Tecia Torres Michelle Waterson to win
Saturday, 2 December – 10:00 pm (ET) / 3:00 am (GMT)
Odds: 8/52.60+1601.601.60-0.63 – Bet365
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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