Two title fights taking place at UFC 238, with the Women’s Flyweight bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Eye taking place before the Main Event for the vacant Men’s Bantamweight title between Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes. The event will take place in Chicago this Sunday afternoon Australian time.
The current UFC Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo will take on former World Series of Fighting Bantamweight Champion Marlon Moraes for the vacant Bantamweight title. The title was previously held by T.J. Dillashaw, but he vacated the title after he failed a drug test. Cejudo comes into this bout with a height and arm reach disadvantage, but has won 14 of his 16 MMA fights to date. The former Olympic gold-medallist in freestyle wrestling is a strong striker and grappler with a record of going the distance and winning by decision. Cejudo won the Flyweight title last August and successfully defended it against Dillashaw.
Marlon Moraes is a genuinely talented all-rounder. 27% of his fight wins have been by submission, 27% by decision and 45% by KO or TKO. He will likely try to rely on his submission strength to counter Cejudo’s grappling dominance. Moraes has won 22 of his 28 MMA bouts, including his last 4 UFC clashes. His last 3 matches ended inside the first round and earned him ‘Performance of the Night’ honours.
Prediction: Cejudo will likely try to use his slight striking advantage to set up a win by decision, but Moraes has the reach advantage and could well try to wear down Cejudo with lock-ups and submission holds to set up a win by TKO.
Defending Champion Shevchenko has had 19 fights for 16 wins, 4 of which have been by knockout, 7 by submission and 5 by decision. In 2017 she challenged Amanda Nunes for her Bantamweight title, but was unable to claim the strap. She then chose to return to the Flyweight division where she defeated Priscila Cachoeira via submission, also earning ‘Performance of the night’ honours. In December last year she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk by decision to claim the vacant Flyweight title. She’s a highly regarded submission fighter with a very good armbar and rear naked choke.
Jessica Eye is a tough opponent who typically goes the distance in a large number of fights. 10 of her 14 wins have been by decision, while 15 of her 21 bouts have gone the distance. Like Shevchenko, Eye spent time at Bantamweight but returned to Flyweight, since doing so she has won all 3 of her bouts.
Prediction: Eye will be playing the long game, however the longer this contest goes on, the stronger the chance of Shevchenko gaining the victory. Expect a tight first round before Shevchenko takes over in the second to win by submission.
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