The King of Cringe, former two-division UFC champion Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo, shocked many people when he announced he was retiring from mixed martial arts following his win over Dominick Cruz in May. However, the Olympian is looking to take a chapter out of Conor McGregor’s book by transitioning to a boxing match with Golden Boy Promotions top prospect Ryan “KingRy” Garcia.
Online sportsbook Bovada has released odds for this crossover event and has listed the fifth-ranked lightweight, Garcia, as a large -1000 favorite with the UFC champion, Cejudo, coming back as a +600 underdog.
Odds as of July 30 at Bovada
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Cejudo vs Garcia Odds Analysis
It should probably come as no surprise that the undefeated 20-0 boxer with 17 knockouts would be a four-figure favorite. What may be a little shocking is that -1000 would be the second-shortest odds that KingRy has faced with only his WBC Silver lightweight title fight with Romero Duno having closer odds – Garcia closed as a -500 fave in a bout he won via first-round knockout.
Being an underdog is nothing new for The Messenger, though, having closed as a betting underdog in five of his 12 UFC bouts, including being plus money in three of his last four. However, Cejudo sported an impressive 10-2 record in the Octagon and won world titles in two different weight classes so it’s hard to count him out.
How Will This Fight Play Out?
Cejudo broke into the UFC primarily as a wrestler as he was the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in that discipline. That said, following back-to-back losses to Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez, the only two defeats on his pro record, his striking really evolved. He earned four knockout victories over his final six bouts, with his last three triumphs coming in that manner.
Hand speed is one of the things that immediately stands out when you watch Garcia compete. He can throw a variety of different punches from different angles, all of them with lightning quickness. He loves to bully his opponents backward with his jab until they attempt to lead the dance, which is when he opens up with his ferocious counters. If they land clean, it’s lights out.
Cejudo has talked about training boxing and having aspirations of competing with the big guns, but it’s an uphill battle when you are starting that sport in your 20s, compared to a guy like Garcia who started boxing when he was seven and had an amateur record of 215-15. Cejudo may land a few shots because of the awkwardness of the footwork and such from an MMA fighter, like McGregor did on Mayweather, but it won’t take long for Garcia to learn those tendencies and eventually end the night with a bang.
Prediction: Ryan Garcia (-1000) via knockout
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