UFC 238 was always set out to be an event to remember, made even more so by a late addition to the card in the form of Tony Ferguson Vs Donal Cerrone.
We saw it all; incredible knockouts, doctor stoppages and some of the most memorable fights of the year.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the highlights from UFC 238 and break down exactly what went on inside the octagon.
Let’s get to it.
Henry Cejudo VS Marlon Moraes
The main event of UFC 238 saw Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo looking to join the coveted ‘Champ-Champ’ club, by adding the Bantamweight belt to his already impressive resume.
This would prove no easy feat however, as the man standing opposite him on fight night was Marlon Moraes, former World Series of Fighting Bantamweight Champion and riding on a 3 fight win streak in the UFC.
Going into the fight, it was clear that Moraes was the larger, more powerful fighter. This was made evident in the first round, where Moraes unloaded a barrage of powerful inside and outside leg kicks to Cejudo. This prevented Cejudo from finding any form of rhythm, failing to close the distance and landing very few shots of his own.
Having watched the first round, you’d be forgiven for thinking this fight was close to being over. Dana White himself said he thought that the fight was 10 or so leg kicks away from being done.
The second round however, was a different beast altogether. Cejudo completely changed the game plan, instead he opted for a far more aggressive style and fought inside the pocket, which proved much more successful. Now able to close the range, Cejudo engaged in a Thai style clinch, landing a number of knees to the head of Moraes, completely changing the direction of the fight.
As round three got underway, Cejudo continued to put on the pressure with a fast pace aggressive style that Moraes couldn’t match, clearly starting to fade. During the third round, Cejudo managed to get a clearly tired Moraes to the ground. Capitalising on this, Cejudo managed to close the fight with vicious elbows and hammer fists, causing referee Marc Goddard to step in and end the fight.
So, what’s next for the newly crowned Batamweight Champion?
Boasting an impressive collection of both an Olympic gold meal and two UFC belts, it’s understandable that Cejudo looks to add a third belt to his collection, should Frankie Edgar defeat Max Holloway at UFC 240.
Personally, I think this is a bit too hasty, and he should probably get some more title defences under his belt before looking to go up yet another weight class. One match-up in particular I would like to see is Cejudo VS former Bantamweight Champion Cody Gardrandt.
I know Gardrandt recently lost to Munhoz, but the former champ lost his title to a then cheating and now banned T.J Dillashaw, which to me, is pretty unfair. Plus, I’d like to see how Cejudo would hold up against such an elite striker like Garbrandt, a man that made beating Dominick Cruz look easy.
Who do you think should be next for Cejudo?
Valentina Shevchenko VS Jessice Eye
Any fight with Valentina Shevchenko is going to be an impressive display of expertise, technique and composure. Three words that sum this fight up perfectly.
The opening round saw Shevchenko land some furious body kicks, shortly followed by a level change, taking Eye to the ground. Eye showed some impressive defensive skills off her back, preventing Shevchenko from submitting her. That said, Shevchenko was able to attain a crucifix position late into the round, where she was able to land a couple of shots to the head of Eye.
Having thrown a number of brutal body kicks during the first round, Shevchenko changed her target, this time aiming for the head of Jessica Eye, a target that she found with astonishing power.
This may well be the most brutal knockout I’ve watched live, which rendered Eye worryingly unconscious for a number of minutes. Knockout of the year contender? I think so.
So who’s next for Shevchenko?
Considering that Eye was the no.1 contender, the skill gap was undeniable. This begs the question, who in the women’s 125lb division can defeat Shevchenko? No.2 ranked Katlyn Chookagian, a woman that lost to Jessica Eye less than a year ago at UFC 231?
I’m not sure, whoever it is though, they better bring their A-game.
Tony Ferguson VS Donald Ceronne
In what could have easily been a headlining fight, we saw Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson, take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, in what was set to be a lightweight fight for the ages.
With Ceronne currently holding the record for most wins in the UFC, and Ferguson riding an incredible 11 fight win streak, this fight was destined to be action packed, and that it was.
The first round was somewhat even, blows were traded and both fighters displayed their characteristic fighting style; Ferguson pushing forward with unrelenting pressure and Cerrone looking to set up his signature highlight reel head kick.
The tide definitely started to change in the second round though, as Ferguson continued to find a home for his stiff jab, repeatedly snapping ‘Cowboy’s head back with some force. Not long into the second round, the damage was starting to take its’ toll on Cerrone, who’s orbital bone had clearly been broken as his right eye started to balloon.
The last few seconds of round two saw both fighters again trading blows, however Ferguson decided to land a brutal jab, very clearly after the bell had gone. With the crowd now booing Ferguson’s poor taste and sportsmanship, both men returned to the corner, where Cerrone would make his last mistake of the night.
Cerrone, who self admittedly is ‘a veteran that should know better’, blew his nose in an attempt to clear it. This in turn caused his eye to instantly balloon further, to the point where it was completely shut. Clearly panicked by the situation, “Cowboy” soon realised his mistake, with the doctors calling a stop to the fight at the end of the second round.
This has caused some controversy as to whether or not Cerrone would have blown his nose, had Ferguson not landed the late jab. Whether or not, we’ll never know, but I expect that should the fight have continued, Cerrone would have continued to take more damage to an already extremely bloodied face.
This interestingly is the second time back to back that “El Cucuy” has won by doctor’s stoppage, with his previous win over Anthony Pettis being caused by a broken hand.
What’s next for the former Interim Champion? You’d like to think that he’d face the winner of Khabib vs Poirier at UFC 242, but these days it’s hard to tell, especially if Conor McGregor gets his way with a rematch against the Eagle.
Well there we have it, a quick break down of the main fights from UFC 238. While that was undoubtedly an epic event, fight week is just around the corner, with one of the most stacked cards I’ve ever seen in the form of UFC 239.
Safe to say, it’s a great time to be an MMA fan.
Thanks for reading.