UFC 238: Cejudo vs. Moraes Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2019

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 07:  (L-R) Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes of Brazil face off during the UFC 238 weigh-in at the United Center on June 7, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

UFC 238 comes to the United Center in Chicago with a championship doubleheader to close out an exciting card. 

Henry Cejudo is looking to add a second belt to his collection. The flyweight champion will see Marlon Moraes in a battle for the now vacant bantamweight title, with T.J. Dillashaw relinquishing the belt due to USADA issues. 

Last time out, Cejudo upset Dillashaw in a flyweight title fight, but he'll once again be a slight underdog as Moraes brings a four-fight win streak into the Octagon with him. 

In other championship action, Jessica Eye will attempt to take Valentina Shevchenko's women's flyweight title. Shevchenko will be making her first defense of the title since winning it via unanimous decision against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. 

The card also features a potential Fight of the Year candidate as Tony Ferguson returns to the Octagon against Donald Cerrone


Main Card (ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET)

  • Henry Cejudo EVEN (bet $100 to win $100) vs. Marion Moraes -130 (bet $130 to win $100)
  • Valentina Shevchenko (c) -1,100 vs. Jessica Eye +650
  • Tony Ferguson -155 vs. Donald Cerrone +125
  • Jimmie Rivera +260 vs. Petr Yan -340
  • Tai Tuivasa -140 vs. Blagoy Ivanov +110

Prelims (ESPN at 8 p.m. ET)

  • Tatiana Suarez -850 vs. Nina Ansaroff +525
  • Aljamain Sterling -135 vs. Pedro Munhoz +105
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz -125 vs. Alexa Grasso -105
  • Ricardo Lamas +125 vs. Calvin Kattar -155

Early Prelims (Fight Pass at 6:15 p.m. ET)

  • Yan Xiaonan -170 vs. Angela Hill +140
  • Bevon Lewis -175 vs. Darren Stewart +145
  • Eddie Wineland -145 vs. Grigory Popov +115
  • Katlyn Chookagian -120 vs. Joanne Calderwood -110

Odds via Action Network



Cejudo's Grappling Gives Him Another UFC Title

You may or may not have heard, but Henry Cejudo has an Olympic gold medal.

The fact has become a meme and is brought up every time he fights, but it speaks to the elite level of grappling that he brings into the cage. In recent years, he's added high-level striking to that Olympic base to become a monstrous threat to anyone at flyweight. 

Regardless of the success everywhere he's been and a massive first-round upset of Dillashaw in his last fight Cejudo never seems to get the props he deserves. He'll be a slight underdog in the main event against the former World Series of Fighting champion Marlon Moraes. 

Moraes is a dangerous striker. He has recent knockout wins over Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera. He's also a threat to finish the fight on the ground with his sixth career submission finish coming against Raphael Assuncao last time out. 

As long as Cejudo doesn't try to toy with Moraes for too long on the ground, his grappling should be the biggest advantage in the fight. His ability to utilize his grappling threat to set himself up with opportunities in the stand up will be the difference in a close, high-level fight. 

Prediction: Cejudo via decision


Shevchenko Makes Easy Work of Eye

It isn't often that you see odds this disparate in a title fight in the UFC, but there's good reason for Shevchenko to be a big favorite. 

Shevchenko is simply the more skilled fighter in nearly every facet of the game. The former kickboxer can be the aggressor and pick you apart from distance. She can sit back and play the role of counter-striker and use her opponent's attacks to set up her own. She can utilize her advanced Muay Thai game in the clinch to dominate a close-quartered fight. 

Wherever she goes, she holds the advantage. 

Eye is a solid boxer. She's earned this title fight by virtue of three straight decision wins. But her spot in this fight is more about the dearth of contenders in the women's flyweight division rather than anything Eye has actually done. 

Regardless of the mismatch, Eye is a durable fighter. She's never been finished by strikes, with just one of her losses coming within the distance. 

Prediction: Shevchenko via decision


Ferguson Reintroduces Himself to Title Picture With Win Over Cerrone

Tony Ferguson has been away from the Octagon since October, but fans couldn't ask for a better return fight than with Donald Cerrone. 

Cowboy has been one of the best action fighters in the UFC, but he's morphed into Old Man Cerrone in the latter stages of his career. Old Man Cerrone still brings an exciting knack for finishing fights, but he does so in a measured and responsible way. 

This older, wiser version of Cerrone has also ripped off three straight impressive wins and has him angling for a title shot. 

Ferguson should have a lot to say about that, though. El Cucuy is the holder of one of the most impressive win streaks in the UFC. He hasn't lost since 2012. 

His unique ability to transition from grappling to the stand-up and back is unorthodox and effective. Cerrone is a versatile fighter as well, but in a bout that should have a little bit of everything, no one has proved to be more effective than Ferguson. 

Expect him to show that he's officially back and still a contender for the lightweight title. 

Prediction: Ferguson via fourth-round TKO