Sunday, June 26, 2022

UFC 238 Predictions: Cejudo vs. Moraes

UFC 238 is upon us. The event will be held inside the United Center in Chicago, Illinois tomorrow night (June 8). Headlining the card will be a bantamweight title bout between Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes. Taking the co-main event spot will be a women’s flyweight title showdown between champion Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Eye. The main card will also feature a pivotal lightweight bout between Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone.

MMA News continues to keep you posted on the latest UFC 238 updates. Earlier today, we covered the weigh-ins, which you can see the results for here. Myself, Ed Carbajal, and Andrew Ravens have once again linked up to provide main card predictions for UFC 238.

Take a look at the bouts set for the main card:

  • Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes – for vacant bantamweight title
  • Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Jessica Eye – for women’s flyweight title
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone
  • Jimmie Rivera vs. Petr Yan
  • Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov

Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes

Fernando Quiles Jr.: While this fight may not be a great sign for the men’s flyweight division, Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes needed to happen. Both men are in their prime and stylistically, this has the potential to be a barn burner title bout. Cejudo’s wrestling is top notch, while Moraes’ pinpoint accuracy in the striking department is arguably second to none. I believe the deciding factor here will be, can Henry Cejudo mix up his wrestling and striking effectively and avoid getting caught with something while shooting in. I believe that he can. (Prediction: Henry Cejudo)

Ed Carbajal: If the fight were contested at flyweight, perhaps Cejudo would not be the underdog on the main event of UFC 238 but it isn’t. Moraes is the former WSOF bantamweight champion and defended the title six times before signing with the UFC. His first fight there is the only loss he suffered since fighting in the UFC and it was a split decision Raphael Assuncao, whom he submitted in his last fight. Cejudo’s wrestling won’t be enough to beat him. Moraes’ time has come and he wins by KO/TKO. (Prediction: Marlon Moraes)

Andrew Ravens: This is such a fun fight and also a close one. Moraes and Cejudo have both been on fire as of late. Cejudo has proven people wrong once he beat TJ Dillashaw in his latest fight, which should convince fans that he’s the real deal. The weight difference could come into play but I have Cejudo putting on one of his best performances to date where he slugs it out with Moraes in a memorable fight. I have Cejudo winning by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Henry Cejudo)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Henry Cejudo

Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Jessica Eye

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Throughout fight week, Jessica Eye talked about her pressure making the difference against Valentina Shevchenko. The problem is, I don’t think that will be enough. Shevchenko is strong and I don’t see Eye have the same success with moving forward and forcing her opponent against the fence. I believe Shevchenko keeps her distance and peppers Eye with punches and kicks for five rounds. (Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko)

Ed Carbajal: Eye is on a three-fight win streak since returning to flyweight and has only been finished once in her career. This fight is likely to go the distance given Eye’s experience but Shevchenko’s recent wins have been against some of the toughest in the UFC. Predicting a “Fight of the Night” candidate while picking Shevchenko to win by decision. (Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko)

Andrew Ravens: As much as Eye has looked great in her latest outings, Shevchenko is simply on another level and on top of her game. She’s only lost to Amanda Nunes while beating some big names. I see this being a dominant beatdown by Shevchenko to Eye and getting her hand raised after five rounds by decision as Eye is in for a long night. (Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Valentina Shevchenko

Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone

Fernando Quiles Jr.: My goodness what a fight. Donald Cerrone has looked like a world beater in his last three fights. During that span, Tony Ferguson was out of action. While it would be fair to consider Ferguson’s personal issues when making a prediction, I don’t believe it’ll impact “El Cucuy” negatively. When Ferguson is in the zone, he rarely has an off night. Cerrone has had his share of off nights and I believe that once he realizes that Ferguson isn’t back peddling or remaining stationary, he will start to freeze up. (Prediction: Tony Ferguson)

Ed Carbajal: This is the hardest fight to call on the card along with being the hardcore fan’s main event, but it is only three rounds. Ferguson’s reach and submission pedigree are a serious threat to Cerrone’s striking but Cerrone seems to be on a mission at 155. It would be hard not to factor in Ferguson’s troubles outside the cage in making a pick here and you have to wonder if he is ready for the challenge. (Prediction: Donald Cerrone)

Andrew Ravens: No doubt this is the people’s main event and a fight that should steal the show. Ferguson has been out of the mix for a bit which will make things interesting. Cerrone is clearly a fan favorite and most people would enjoy seeing him win here but Ferguson has his destiny set for a title fight. Ferguson will ultimately TKO Cerrone in the third round. (Prediction: Tony Ferguson)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Tony Ferguson

Jimmie Rivera vs. Petr Yan

Fernando Quiles Jr.: I think this is the right fight at the right time for Petr Yan. He’s facing a veteran in Jimmie Rivera, who has gone 1-2 in his last three outings but is still formidable. Yan does a great job at blitzing while always being prepared for a takedown. He put this on display against John Dodson. I don’t see Rivera being able to match Yan’s activity on the feet and I believe he’ll struggle to take things to the mat. (Prediction: Petr Yan)

Ed Carbajal: Rivera is definitely one of the most well rounded bantamweights in his division but it seems every time he gets a chance to move advance, he gets pushed back. Yan is on a four-fight win streak and while Rivera is certain to be his biggest test to date, Yan’s striking might be better than his. (Prediction: Petr Yan)

Andrew Ravens: This is the biggest challenge to date for Yan, who has looked impressive up to this point in his MMA career. If he can beat Rivera then he’s someone to take seriously in the bantamweight division. I have Yan winning by split decision as Rivera has struggled in his previous three outings. (Prediction: Petr Yan)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Petr Yan

Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Tai Tuivasa has had a rough go at seasoned veterans in his last two bouts. He didn’t look too great in his unanimous decision win over Andrei Arlovski and was stopped by Junior dos Santos in the second round. “JDS” hadn’t finished a fight since May 2013. I think Tuivasa will be looking for an early knockout, but he won’t find it. I see the durable Blagoy Ivanov finding his range and frustrating Tuivasa on the feet for three rounds. (Prediction: Blagoy Ivanov)

Ed Carbajal: The two heavy-handed fighters open up the main event and will either go the bloody distance or end early in a knock out. Ivanov is another former WSOF champion that may have left his best fights in that promotion but it is hard to count him out given his durability when a fight does go the distance. Tuivasa could win by an early knock out, but Ivanov still might have enough to win by decision. It’s a coin toss but picking Ivanov here. (Prediction: Blagoy Ivanov)

Andrew Ravens: While most fight fans would expect this one to be done in the first-round, I disagree. While the promotion likes to hype quick endings for heavyweight fights, I think it’s too early for Tai while going up against a veteran such as Ivanov, who has gone the distance in his previous three fights. Ivanov implements his game plan and scores the decision win. (Prediction: Blagoy Ivanov)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Blagoy Ivanov

That’ll do it for the UFC 238 predictions. Do you agree with the MMA News staffers? Who do you think will emerge victorious on the main card? Give us your predictions in the comments below and be sure to stick with us for live coverage of UFC 238.

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