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Another highly-anticipated rematch will feature near the top of UFC 227 this weekend as Demetrious Johnson looks to defend his belt from Henry Cejudo a second time.
Demetrious Johnson is undoubtedly one of the very best mixed martial artists in the world today. On a pound-for-pound basis, there’s a real argument for “Mighty Mouse” as the best there is today, and the best there ever has been. To make this easier to understand, Johnson is and has been the ONLY flyweight champion since the division arrived at the UFC nearly six years ago. He’s undefeated through his last 13 fights and now holds the record for most consecutive title defenses. Since defeating Cejudo the first time, he’s gone on to defeat Tim Elliot, Wilson Reis, and Ray Borg to essentially clean out the flyweight division.
Henry Cejudo is now at the top of the “Who has the best chance of defeating Demetrious Johnson?” list. Despite Johnson’s dominant performance in their first fight, Cejudo has shown improved striking and mixed martial arts understanding to terrifyingly defeat Wilson Reis and then work past Sergio Pettis. Cejudo, who is an Olympic gold-medallist in wrestling, also has elite wrestling capabilities that he can rely on when things get in trouble.
Let’s look back at when these two first shared the cage together.
It was Demetrious Johnson’s outstanding clinch work that helped him dominate Henry Cejudo at UFC 197. Rather than sticking to the outside and risking a well-timed takedown from the former Olympic wrestler, Johnson entered the clinch and quickly removed the gap between the two athletes. Johnson didn’t just deny Cejudo opportunities while in the clinch, either, he actually destroyed the challenger with powerful knees, elbows, and punches while inside the clinch and disengaging from it.
Cejudo, who has grappled for most of his career without utilizing strikes, was clueless against the well-rounded techniques of Johnson and eventually succumbed to a devastating knee to the body that was followed by strikes to the head. Cejudo’s shot at Johnson didn’t last long at all.
Will it be any different at UFC 227?
It will. Cejudo’s striking has improved to a point in which he might be tempted to stick outside and work with Johnson. While it’s hard to believe his striking has transformed dramatically to a level in which he can effectively outwork or even finish Johnson while standing, he deserves some more respect in this area than he ever has before.
There’s also no doubt that he will be prepared for Johnson’s activity and volume when inside the clinch, as well. Cejudo certainly won’t stick around and let Johnson overload him with knees and elbows, and he will urgently look to take Johnson down or disengage.
The thing is, though, as much as Cejudo has improved, Demetrious Johnson is still considered one of the very best of all time. And he keeps getting better.
Can Cejudo defeat Johnson? He might be able to. But it’s going to take an unreal performance from the challenger.
The greatest champion in our sport today, Demetrious Johnson, will be entering this fight as a heavy betting favorite over at BetOnline where he is currently 21/100 1.21 -480 0.21 -4.80 0.21 .
For anyone who is tempted to run with a bet on Henry Cejudo, you can now do so with BetVictor who have released excellent odds of 4/1 5.00 +400 4.00 4.00 -0.25 .
While the odds certainly don’t reflect Cejudo’s major improvements, it just speaks volumes about how dominant a champion Demetrious Johnson is.
Although the value on Demetrious Johnson is not all that tempting, it’s worth considering adding Demetrious Johnson to several parlay/accumulator bets for UFC 227.
Best Bet: Demetrious Johnson to win 21/100 1.21 -480 0.21 -4.80 0.21 at BetOnline
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