How to bet UFC Fight Night: Brooklyn

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How to bet UFC Fight Night: Brooklyn


Reed Kuhn
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The UFC on ESPN era kicks off Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York, with a worthy champion-versus-champion superfight -- something that's all the rage these days. Having seen the buzz and excitement over superfights like Cormier-Miocic and Nunes-Cyborg in 2018, the trend now stretches into the lightest men's divisions as the reigning men's flyweight and bantamweight champs kick off 2019.


The situation is muddied by the uncertain future of the flyweight division, arguably making this an existential fight within the UFC. Henry Cejudo might be fighting to maintain the division he now owns, and save the jobs of the remaining true flyweights. Meanwhile, TJ Dillashaw, seemingly having accepted the role of heel, could be a literal division-killer should he take the flyweight belt before moving back up in search of bigger fights.


It makes a more interesting storyline for fans, but flyweights (such as Joseph Benavidez and Dustin Ortiz, also competing Saturday at Barclays Center) will also be watching intently and wondering if they have a future at their most competitive weight.
The main event odds have been live for months, and as the time draws near, let's take a detailed look at the performance metrics in order to evaluate the betting value.



UFC flyweight championship: TJ Dillashaw (-210) vs Henry Cejudo (+170)



Tale Of The Tape
Last fight weight classFlyweightBantamwieght
Current age3132
Height (in)6466
Reach (in)6468
StanceOrthodoxOrthodox
Analyzed minutes123186
Standup striking offense
Career knockdown ratio
(Scored : Received)
3:19:2
Distance knockdown rate2.30%3.10%
Head jab accuracy19%28%
Head power accuracy27%27%
Total standup strike ratio0.81.3
Striking defense
Total head strike defense79%73%
Distance knockdown
defense ("Chin")
100%99%
Wrestling and grappling
TD attempts/minute
(Standing/clinch)
0.520.37
Takedown accuracy36%38%
Advances per
takedown/top control
0.61.3
Opponent takedown attempts936
Takedown defense89%86%
Share of total ground
time in control
100%96%
Submission attempts
per trip to ground
0.060.46

HENRY CEJUDO TJ DILLASHAW


When it comes to the tale of the tape, Dillashaw will bring a leaner version of his larger frame, accentuating the key physical difference in the matchup. Dillashaw will certainly be the rangier fighter, while Cejudo could be the stronger of the two. This body type complements each of their likely fight plans, with Dillashaw seemingly having the striking advantage and the edge tipping toward Cejudo should it get to the mat.


While on his feet, Dillashaw has shown sharp hands that have finished numerous fights since he began working with coach Duane Ludwig. Dillashaw, who was formerly known for being a typical Team Alpha Male-type fighter -- a strong wrestler turned hybrid fighter -- has seen his striking evolve to the point where he's willing to trade with anyone, including dangerous power strikers such as Cody Garbrandt, whom Dillashaw was able to stop twice by strikes in his two most recent outings. That's a dangerous game to play in the long run, though, as Dillashaw's head-strike defense is actually low for his division -- a rare trait for a champion -- and it's also lower than Cejudo's. While the two are trading leather, Dillashaw will have the volume and range advantage to win the minutes spent at a distance, but he's also more vulnerable than most would imagine against Cejudo, who swings less often but will violent intentions.


Cejudo's volume is low because he doesn't utilize a jab; instead, he throws with power on 82 percent of his head strikes. It's an all-or-nothing approach that doesn't favor spending a lot of time on his feet, unless of course Cejudo lands a clean shot that tests Dillashaw's increasingly weathered chin -- a result that would be stunning, to say the least.


That once again leaves us wondering if Cejudo will live up to his Olympic wrestling pedigree and control the fight on the ground. While he rose through the UFC ranks often relying on his boxing, he finally demonstrated the relentlessly stifling top game that he's capable of in his epic upset of former champion Demetrious Johnson. It's the type of asset that can save him should Dillashaw's striking prove to be too much early on, and can be wielded offensively to prevent Dillashaw from ever getting traction on the judges' cards.


However, Dillashaw's takedown defense is excellent to date, and that's against bantamweights -- not unsurpassable, but very good on paper. Cejudo will need to utilize the clinch and cage fence to set up a relentless chain of takedown attempts in order to plant Dillashaw on the ground. The strategy for Cejudo, as it was against Johnson, will be to keep Dillashaw on his back long enough to secure rounds, without getting overzealous by going for a finish and potentially allowing an escape.


Insider recommends: We see some value on Cejudo as a nearly 2-to-1 underdog without factoring in weight. However, the change in weight class has to be factored into the decision. Dillashaw earned his metrics against larger opponents, and we don't know if that strength and durability will come with him to 125 pounds, or if he'll be suddenly more vulnerable against an opponent who (finally) proved he can compete at full speed for five rounds at flyweight. It's a potential pass at any price for Cejudo below +170, but the support for Dillashaw could push the prices further apart to create some value.


We'd also lean toward a bet on over 4.5 rounds, on the assumption this turns into a back-and-forth battle, with some rounds going to the mat while others see more tentative striking than we saw in the ultra-aggressive Dillashaw-Garbrandt battles. Parlay fodder would be the prop that the fight starts Round 4, at -205.


Odds and ends


Flyweight (for now) Joseph Benavidez is the last man to defeat Henry Cejudo, and he'll be looking to justify his position for a title shot in the scenario that Cejudo successfully defends the title and saves the division.


Benavidez is a 2-to-1 favorite over veteran Dustin Ortiz. On paper, they look even in striking, though Benavidez is usually able to dictate a higher pace than his opponents. Ortiz, meanwhile, often relies on an aggressive wrestling game, which could work against him against the veteran choking skills of Benavidez. Benavidez is worth the juice here, and bargain-hunters should consider a flier on a submission finish prop bet for him at north of +500.
 
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