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411’s MMA Roundtable Preview – UFC 238: Cejudo vs. Moraes

June 8, 2019 | Posted by Dan Plunkett
UFC 238

UFC brings two title fights to Chicago for UFC 238! In the main event, flyweight champion Henry Cejudo aims for a second strap as he fights Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight championship! In the co-main event, Jessica Eye looks to unseat flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko! At lightweight, Tony Ferguson looks to make it twelve wins in a row when he fights Donald Cerrone! Plus, Jimmie Rivera battles Petr Yan, Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov, and more!


  • He’s 411’s Jack of All Trades, Jeffrey Harris!

  • He’ll lock you in the guillotine, Robert Winfree!

    First four prelims stream on UFC Fight Pass, and the rest air on ESPN.
    Flyweight Bout: Katlyn Chookagian vs. Joanne Calderwood

    Jeffrey Harris: Joanne Calderwood, TKO, Round 2
    Robert Winfree: Joanne Calderwood, Decision

    Middleweight Bout: Bevon Lewis vs. Darren Stewart

    Jeffrey Harris: Darren Stewart, Decision
    Robert Winfree: Befon Lewis, TKO, Round 2

    Strawweight Bout: Xiaonan Yan vs. Angela Hill

    Jeffrey Harris Angela Hill, Decision
    Robert Winfree: Xiaonan Yan, Decision

    Featherweight Bout: Ricardo Lamas vs. Calvin Kattar

    Jeffrey Harris: Calvin Kattar, Decision
    Robert Winfree: Calvin Kattar, TKO, Round 3

    Strawweight Bout: Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Alexa Grasso

    Jeffrey Harris: Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Decision
    Robert Winfree: Alexa Grasso, Decision

    Bantamweight Bout: Aljamain Sterling vs. Pedro Munhoz

    Jeffrey Harris: Aljamain Sterling, Decision
    Robert Winfree: Aljamain Sterling, Submission, Round 2

    Strawweight Bout: Tatiana Suarez vs. Nina Ansaroff

    Jeffrey Harris: Tatiana Suarez, Decision
    Robert Winfree: Tatiana Suarez, TKO, Round 3

    Heavyweight Bout: Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov

    Jeffrey Harris: Honestly, I think Aljamain Sterling vs. Pedro Munhox should be on the main card instead of this so-called heavyweight showcase. Hopefully, this fight will end quickly. If this gets out of the first round, it will probably get a lot uglier. Tai Tuivasa looks to bounce back after his first career MMA defeat at the hands of Junior dos Santos. Ivanov managed to score a win over Ben Rothwell earlier this year. I’m going to go ahead and pick Tuivasa due to his knockout power. Hopefully, it ends quick.

    Winner: Tai Tuivasa, TKO, Round 1

    Robert Winfree: I’d rather this fight were on the prelims and Sterling vs. Munhoz here instead. Per usual with heavyweight fights all we can really do is hope it’s short. I expect Tuivasa to win, he suffered a setback when he met former champion Junior dos Santos in his last fight but he’s the one the promotion is looking to build as opposed to Ivanov who’s had two real snoozer fights.

    Winner: Tai Tuivasa, TKO, Round 1

    Bantamweight Bout: Jimmie Rivera vs. Petr Yan

    Jeffrey Harris: This is a nice step up in competition for the surging prospect Petr Yan, who is 4-0 in the Octagon. Meanwhile, Jimmie Rivera has to prove himself over a young-up-and-coming prospect to keep himself from sliding further down the rankings after going 1-2 in his last three fights with losses to Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling. Petr Yan is a tough and gritty opponent. He has formidable boxing skills, and he’s proving to be fairly well rounded. Meanwhile, Rivera tends to not be much of a finisher in the UFC run. The last time he finished a fight was in 2015. I could be going out on a limb here, but I’m picking Yan to get the win to ascend up the bantamweight ranks.

    Winner: Petr Yan, Decision

    Robert Winfree: I’m looking forward to this fight. Petr Yan is one of the more interesting prospects/contenders in the division right now, he’s a bit of a switch stance fighter with great boxing skills and combination work. Jimmie Rivera was on a heck of a hot streak but ran into the shin of Marlon Moraes and that seems to have stalled out his momentum. Rivera will likely be looking to ground things here because while he has good calf kicks and power in his hands he’s not much of a combination striker and Yan does a good job of going to the body and head while entering and exiting on angles. I can see how both men have paths to victory here but I’m leaning towards Yan as he continues climbing towards the title picture.

    Winner: Petr Yan, TKO, Round 3

    Lightweight Bout: Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone

    Jeffrey Harris: This is a very tough call for me. Both of these men are two of my favorite fighters not just in the UFC or lightweight division, but in MMA period. Donald Cerrone seems to be on a warpath to the title. However, Cerrone has disappointed way too many times in major fight or title situations. I love Cerrone, but I’m still not yet convinced he’s capable of winning the big one. Meanwhile, Ferguson has been denied his rightful chances and opportunities time and time again. He should be fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title. Meanwhile, Dana White is still talking about Khabib rematching Conor McGregor on ESPN. Both men are dangerous fighters, but I see Ferguson coming out on top here. Ferguson is incredibly well rounded. He’s proven over the course of his winning streak that he has a vicious streak and he can finish you anywhere. Cerrone is a good fighter, but he still has his flaws. He’s sometimes weak to the body, and he tends to be a slow starter from time to time. Not to mention, he’s had problems with wrestlers in the past. It will be a tough fight, but Ferguson will win out in the end.

    Winner: Tony Ferguson, Decision

    Robert Winfree: Just hook this into my veins. The pace, the action, the blood, the violence, just all of it. Just sit back and enjoy this display of chaos and carnage. All things considered I like Ferguson here, Cerrone struggles with pressure and Ferguson is built around that, but Ferguson also has been caught in the past and if Cerrone lands clean on him he won’t let him off the hook.

    Winner: Tony Ferguson, TKO, Round 3

    UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship Bout: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Eye

    Jeffrey Harris: Credit where credit is due, Jessica Eye for all intents and purposes earned this show. She was more or less a journeywoman as a bantamweight fighter. She moved down to flyweight and has gone on a decent winning streak. However, I don’t expect her to upset the highly skilled Valentina Shevchenko. Shevchenko is a world class striker and kickboxer, and I don’t see Eye bringing anything to the table that will get Shevchenko in trouble unless she gets sloppy or falls asleep at the wheel.

    Winner: Valentina Shevchenko, TKO, Round 2

    Robert Winfree: Jessica Eye has a very limited path to victory here, primarily involving takedowns and stalling from top position. Eye’s striking tends to involve squaring up, closing her eyes, and charging forward with her head straight up in the air and not moving. I expect Eye to spend a couple of rounds running onto check hooks, spend the next two failing on takedowns and killing time in the clinch, then just circling away the last one and claiming she got screwed by the judges after the fight.

    Winner: Valentina Shevchenko, Decision

    UFC Bantamweight Championship Bout: Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes

    Jeffrey Harris: Honestly, what happened with TJ Dillashaw is probably for the best. Why? Because now the most deserving contender in the bantamweight division, Marlon Moraes, is getting the title shot he so rightfully deserved. Moraes seems destined for this moment. He started getting the attention of the MMA world back in his WSOF days when he picked up wins over the likes of Miguel Torres and Tyson Nam. And now he’s on the cusp on becoming the top bantamweight in the world. Henry Cejudo is not to be overlooked. He’s an Olympic gold medalist wrestler and a UFC champion. He’s the first Olympic gold medalist to win a UFC title. He has also proven he’s not a one-trick pony and he can do more than just wrestle and grind in a fight. He does have power in his hands and some strong striking and boxing skills. That being said, I expect a victorious Moraes here. I can see Cejudo giving him a couple tough rounds, but Moraes will win the title that rightfully belongs to him.

    Winner: Marlon Moraes, TKO, Round 3

    Robert Winfree: I’d much rather Moraes were fighting another bantamweight and Cejudo was defending the flyweight title, but since the UFC is doing away with flyweight and plans on using this fight as the impetus for that whether Cejudo wins or loses this is what we’ve got. Despite not liking the circumstances the fight itself is great. Moraes is a dynamic fighter with powerful strikes, a great ground game, and seems to be peaking as a fighter right about now. Cejudo is one of the premier combat sports athletes of the last decade or so, he seems to have finally found a bit of his stride in MMA by adopting a more karate-boxing style to compliment his elite level wrestling. I’m picking Moraes here, if he gets Cejudo backing up I expect him to chop his legs out from under him with leg kicks and he’s got some incredible physical strength, but I’m done being surprised when Cejudo achieves great things in the competitive space.

    Winner: Marlon Moraes, TKO, Round 2

    Remember to join 411’s coverage of UFC 238: Cejudo vs. Moraes Saturday night!

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