TJ Dillashaw Slight Favourite To Defend Title Against Dominick Cruz

Published on October 27th, 2015 9:27 pm EST

On January 17th, 2016, Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw will be defending his Bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs Cruz. The card, which will be taking place at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, will also feature Anthony Pettis vs Eddie Alvarez and Travis Browne vs Matt Mitrione.

The fight between Dillashaw and Cruz has so many different wrinkles, which is why this is one of the most compelling title fights in a long while.

To start, you have the former Bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz, who will be fighting for the title after sustaining an unbelievable number of injuries over the past couple of years. The injuries were so bad, in fact, that Cruz had his title stripped from him. Cruz, still just 30 years of age, returned to emphatically defeat Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178 before sustaining another injury. Let's not forget that Cruz never actually lost the title and was considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the game before succumbing to his various injuries.

On top of that, you have the ongoing saga between TJ Dillashaw and Team Alpha Male. Dillashaw and Team Alpha Male parted ways earlier this year and there have been plenty of hurt feelings. Team Alpha Male and their former head coach, Duane Ludwig, had an acrimonious split earlier in the year, and Dillashaw ended up following Ludwig out the door as well. Team Alpha Male didn't take too kindly to this as they banned Dillashaw from their gym. This has been the talk of the mixed martial arts world over the past couple of months, and it will be interesting to see the impact on Dillashaw in January, as it has surely been emotionally taxing for the Bantamweight champion.

Cruz, if you'll remember, has had a chip on his shoulder regarding Team Alpha Male for a long period of time, and he will surely be using the situation to antagonize Dillashaw in the lead-up to the fight. Let's not forget that Dominick Cruz is one of the best talkers in the game.

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TJ Dillashaw is a slight favourite to win on January 17th, 2016 - here are the current betting odds:

TJ Dillashaw, -160
Dominick Cruz, +130

These are very close odds and the closest thing to a coin flip that you will see in a title fight. In reality, Cruz would likely be a substantial favourite to win if he hadn't had so few fights over the past three years. Cruz looked flawless against Mizugaki, however, so it will be interesting to see how he looks on January 17th.

This could easily end up being one of the fights of the year - I can't wait to see how it goes.


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