UFC 185 Fight Breakdown: Henry Cejudo vs. Chris Cariaso

Henry Cejudo The opening main card bout at UFC 185 is a three-round flyweight bout between Henry Cejudo and Chris Cariaso. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Cejudo is a -550 favorite (bet $550 to win $100) while Cariaso is a +425 underdog (bet $100 to win $425). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Cejudo at -475 and Cariaso at +325 and the betting public is all over Cejudo. I agree that Cejudo should be favored heading into this matchup, but there are some concerns surrounding him. Here’s why. Cejudo (7-0) won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in freestyle wrestling and has since gone on to achieve a perfect 7-0 record in MMA. Just 28 years of age, Cejudo is one of the best athletes in the UFC and easily one of the best wrestlers regardless of weight class. His boxing has also improved tremendously and with his ability to dictate where his fights take place, he will be tough for anyone to beat at both 125lbs and 135lbs. But that’s Cejudo’s kryptonite — his weight. He has had issues making the 125lb limit in the past and even had to fight at 135lbs in his UFC debut against Dustin Kimura because UFC president Dana White didn’t trust him to make 125. But after such a dominant showing against Kimura, where he showed tremendous boxing and wrestling skills, Cejudo vindicated him in the eyes of many, and is getting another chance at flyweight against a former title contender in Cariaso. And with a win over Cariaso, Cejudo will be on the road to a UFC flyweight title shot, provided of course that he makes weight. Cariaso (17-6) just fought for the UFC flyweight title, getting submitted in the second round by champion Demetrious Johnson. The 33-year-old American has earned a 7-4 overall record in the UFC with wins over Louis Smolka, Danny Martinez, Iliarde Santos, Josh Ferguson, Vaughan Lee, Will Campuzano and Takeya Mizugaki and losses to Johnson, Jussier Formiga, John Moraga and Michael McDonald. Cariaso is a solid veteran of the sport and makes for a terrific gatekeeper at 125lbs, but he is no title contender. Armed with a dangerous muay Thai attack on the feet, Cariaso is a striker and if he can keep his fights standing he will always have a chance. However, his wrestling defence is terrible, and he can be taken down by most fighters in the division. The book is out on Cariaso, and while I do like watching him fight and appreciate his heart, chin and cardio, I just don’t see how he can stop Cejudo’s takedowns, and I understand why the odds are so higher in his opponent’s favor because of the style clash. On paper, Cejudo should be able to dominate Cariaso on the ground with his wrestling and win a clear-cut decision on the judges’ scorecards. I just don’t fully trust this guy though. He’s had tons of issues with his weight, his commitment to the sport has been questioned, and he quite frankly hasn’t been tested. Cariaso isn’t a great fighter, but he’s ranked in the top 10 of the division because he has a winning record in the UFC and has a ton of experience against high-level competition. He’s also the better striker in this matchup. The problem is his porous takedown defence is most likely going to be exposed yet again like it has been in the past, and for that reason I have to side with Cejudo to get the win. Having said that, I am still worried about’s Cejudo’s weight cut, if you are going to play him make sure to watch the weigh-ins for this one before laying your bet.

Written by Adam Martin.

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