UFC Fight Night 143: Henry Cejudo Vs TJ Dillashaw
It’s a new year in the UFC, and that means a new place to watch fights for home viewers, with ESPN taking over the fight night duties. It’s certainly a busy schedule for the first event on the sports channel, with no less than 6 fights on the main card at UFC Fight Night 143, which will be held at the Barclays Center in New York this coming Saturday night, January 19. We have a lot to cover here, so let’s jump right into the action, all of which you can catch on ESPN+.
Glover Teixeira (-125) Vs Karl Roberson (+105)
The Light Heavyweights are first up on Saturday night in what should be a very close bout. Teixeira has been a UFC stalwart for several years now, but at 39 years of age, he is showing some signs of slowing down, as witnessed in his loss to Corey Anderson last time out. Karl Roberson is an up and coming fighter in the UFC, but he has been a little inconsistent in the early going. He looks to be in tough here, and I think Teixeira gets the win via submission in the early rounds.
Paige VanZant (-150) Vs Rachael Ostovich (+130)
VanZant showed some real promise in her early bouts in the UFC, which led to her becoming a bit of a poster girl for the Flyweight division, but her heavy defeat at the hands of Rose Namajunas showed that she still has some work to do to be a real contender. Ostovich was initially off this event after suffering a broken bone in a domestic altercation, but she has been cleared to go, which seems like a rather strange decision. If VanZant lands a blow on that barely healed orbital bone, this one could end ugly.
Joseph Benavidez (-223) Vs Dustin Ortiz (+195)
Benavidez has been one of the best fighters in the Flyweight division for quite some time, but he saw his progress halted after missing all of 2017 with a knee injury. He lost in his return to the Octagon, but he looked back to his best with a win over Alex Perez last November. Dustin Ortiz fought Benavidez a few years back, losing that one, which is actually a common trend for a fighter who always seems to come up short against the top fighters. Benavidez gets the win here.
Gregor Gillespie (-525) Vs Yancy Medeiros (+415)
Gillespie made the leap from the ranks of college wrestling to the UFC a few years back and has been an entertaining watch ever since. While his grappling skills are what gets him the majority of his wins, he has also made a habit of coming out like a whirlwind as he looks to get the takedown. Medeiros has jumped between weight classes over the years, which may be why he has never really established himself as a true top prospect. He drops back to lightweight for this one and will likely fall via submission.
Greg Hardy (-525) Vs Allen Crowder (+415)
Hardy is a former NFL player who essentially was forced out due to issues with domestic violence, which makes his inclusion on a card with Ostovich all the more controversial. Hardy has had early success in the UFC, with all of his Heavyweight fights coming to a quick end. The UFC seems intent on forwarding his career, as Crowder is a low-level fighter who looks like little more than a punching bag in this one. Crowder’s only hope is to survive the early assault and get this fight deep, but he won’t.
TJ Dillashaw (-205) Vs Henry Cejudo (+175)
The main event is a Flyweight Title fight that is somewhat unexpected in that there have been rumors that UFC are set to shut this division down. Cejudo has steadily improved over his 6 years as an MMA fighter, and you get the sense that he is still yet to hit his peak. Dillashaw is an adept fighter on the mat, but since that is where Cejudo does his best work, expect Dillashaw to try and turn this into more of a boxing match. This looks like one set to go the distance, with my money on Cejudo.
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