UFC 238: Cejudo vs. Moraes predictions
The UFC is in the Windy City this weekend at the United Center for UFC 238. There will be a new bantamweight champion crowned as flyweight champ Henry Cejudo and former WSOF 135 pound kingpin Marlon Moraes both made weight for the main event.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
UFC 238 FIGHT PASS PRELIMS (6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN (11-2-0) VS. JESSICA CALDERWOOD (13-3-0)
Andrews: Tough fight to call. Chookagian could use her height and reach to score from the outside for a decision. But Calderwood’s bread and butter is Muay Thai and she can strike too. If it goes to the ground, both fighters can hold their own. I like Calderwood’s aggressiveness though.
Andrews Prediction: Jessica Calderwood via SD
EDDIE WINELAND (23-13-1) VS. GRIGORY POPOV (13-1-0)
Andrews: Wineland is welcoming Popov to the octagon and obviously has a huge experience advantage. Wineland is also in the twilight of his career. But Popov trains with Tiger Muay Thai and teammates Valentina Shevchenko and Petr Yan are also on the card. Plus, Popov has two (2) gogoplata submission wins. This guy is good and I think he will overcome the jitters and make Wineland contemplate retirement.
Andrews Prediction: Grigory Popov via TKO
BEVON LEWIS (6-1-0) VS. DARREN STEWART (9-4-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Lewis has probably learned his lesson from the fight with Uriah Hall but he is facing Stewart who needs a win badly. Although he lost against Hall, Lewis dominated most of the fight so I have to lean with him here.
Andrews Prediction: Bevon Lewis via TKO
XIAONAN YAN (10-1-0) VS. ANGELA HILL (9-6-0)
Andrews: Yan is replacing Felice Herrig on short notice. Her striking is decent but she is facing an experienced striker in Hill. I’m not sure she can outstrike Hill on short notice.
Andrews Prediction: Angela Hill via UD
RICARDO LAMAS (19-7-0) VS. CALVIN KATTAR (13-3-0)
Andrews: This is a good fight, but while Kattar is tough as nails, I think the experience and skills of Lamas will overcome him.
Andrews Prediction: Ricardo Lamas via TKO
KAROLINA KOWALKIEWICZ (12-4-0) VS. ALEXA GRASSO (10-2-0)
Andrews: Many people forget that Karolina has a win over Rose Namajunas and losses to Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha. But Karolina came in as a phenom but is now on the downside at 33 years old as a sort of gatekeeper of the division. Grasso at 25 has a big striking test as she needs to be aggressive to pull out the win.
Andrews Prediction: Alexa Grasso via UD
ALJAMAIN STERLING (17-3-0) VS. PEDRO MUNHOZ (18-3-0)
Andrews: Pedro made a believer out of me when he stopped Cody. Aljamain is very good with his grappling, but I think Pedro rolls in Chicago.
Andrews Prediction: Pedro Munhoz via TKO
TATIANA SUAREZ (7-0-0) VS. NINA ANSAROFF (9-5-0)
Andrews: Not even training with her partner Amanda Nunes can save Nina from getting finished by Suarez.
Andrews Prediction: Tatiana Suarez via TKO
TAI TUIVASA (8-1-0) VS. BLAGOY IVANOV (17-2-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Tuivasa did well against dos Santos and I think he stops the big man here too.
Andrews Prediction: Tai Tuivasa via TKO
JIMMIE RIVERA (22-3-0) VS. PETR YAN (12-1-0)
Andrews: Rivera is very good, but will be overcome by the aggression of Yan.
Andrews Prediction: Petr Yan via TKO
TONY FERGUSON (24-3-0) VS. DONALD CERRONE (36-11-0)
Andrews: This is pretty much a tossup. Under pressure though, I think Ferguson is better able to keep his head, so I am going with El Cucuy.
Andrews Prediction: Tony Ferguson via UD
VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO (16-3-0) VS. JESSICA EYE (14-6-0)
Andrews: Eye only has a chance if she pressures Shevchenko, but then that just opens up opportunities for Valentina’s exceptional counterattack. Otherwise, Valentina will slowly pick Eye apart.
Andrews Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko via UD
HENRY CEJUDO (14-2-0) VS. MARLON MORAES (22-5-1)
Andrews: I like Moraes confidence and ability to finish fights against quality opponents, but Cejudo is on fire right now. Cejudo grinds out another win.
Andrews Prediction: Henry Cejudo via UD