UFC 238: CEJUDO CLAIMS 2ND BELT, "BULLET" STARCHES "EVIL EYE", FERGUSON MANGLES CERRONE
In what was a tremendously stacked card, UFC 238 did not disappoint. Though many fights went the distance, UFC 238 concluded with the promotion’s top stars securing finishes.
UFC 238 MAIN CARD RESULTS
Henry Cejudo def. Marlon Moraes via TKO in R3 for the UFC Bantamweight Title
Valentina Shevchenko def. Jessica Eye via Headkick KO in R2 retaining her Flyweight Belt
Tony Ferguson def. Donald Cerrone via TKO/Medical Stoppage between R2 and R3
Petr Yan def. Jimmie Rivera via Unanimous Decision
Blagoy Ivanof def. Tai Tuivasa via Unanimous Decision
UFC 238 Main Event Breakdown
Cejudo vs Moraes
A tremendous showing for the UFC Flyweight Champion resulted in a fight for the ages as Henry Cejudo overcame adversity in the first round to become a double champion.
Both fighters looked intense and hyped up heading into the first round. Moraes initiated a low leg kick to the calf. Moraes followed up with a head kick that was blocked by Cejudo. Cejudo liked the idea of the headkick and threw one of his own; swing and a miss. Moraes moved forward and landed a solid left hook. “Magic” threw a flurry and Cejudo countered. Moraes continued to find success with the low leg kicks, and landed them at will, negating Cejudo’s wrestling. Cejudo, frustrated with not finding much success on the feet, left himself exposed. Moraes capitalized on the exposure and peppered Cejudo with shots to the head and body. The Flyweight Champion continued to eat leg kick after leg kick, forcing him to continuously switch stances. As the first round came to a close, Moraes continued to tag Cejudo with low kick after low kick, leaving Cejudo’s legs battered. This was an absolute kicking clinic put on by Moraes. BreakingFightNews scored the round 10-9 Moraes.
Between rounds, Cejudo’s corner reminded him of the fight with “Mighty Mouse” and Moraes’ corner motivated him by speaking of his mother’s struggle during his childhood. The round began with a big combination by Cejudo, with a solid left hand finding it’s mark at the end. Moraes once again annihilated Cejudo’s legs with brutal leg kicks, following them up with uppercuts. Cejudo clipped Moraes and Moraes responded with yet another stinging leg kick. Cejudo evaded a big head kick, just to eat more leg kicks from Moraes. Cejudo attempted a leg kick of his own and it landed, but Moraes responded with a bigger leg kick that battered Cejudo’s already punished legs. Another big leg kick by Moraes found it’s target, temporarily dropping Cejudo. Cejudo responded with a solid right hand followed by an uppercut, leaving Moraes a bit stunned. Cejudo capitalized on this with another stinging right hand. Though Cejudo was connecting with his hand striking, he ate a big uppercut by Moraes. Cejudo initiated a strong clinch, landing a big knee. Cejudo landed another knee and Moraes responded with a solid left hook. Cejudo continued to land multiple big knees. A frustrated Moraes shot in for a takedown but didn’t secure it. A flurry by both fighters closes out the round, with Cejudo appearing to be hurt by a right hand from Moraes. It was a close round with a lot of back and forth, but BreakingFightNews scored the round for Cejudo by a hair, leaving the score to be 19-19.
Between rounds, Moraes’ corner called for him to tighten up his strikes and not to swing too wide. Coming into the third round, Cejudo looked to have flipped a switch; he was ready to explode. Moraes’ demeanor changed some between rounds and he started to take big breaths. Cejudo came out very aggressive, and landed a stiff right hand. Cejudo once again found success with the clinch, landing a big knee. Moraes broke the clinch and punished Cejudo’s leg with another hard kick. After a brief pause in the action to investigate a possible eye poke, Moraes attempted a headkick. Cejudo tried for a takedown but couldn’t quite secure it. Cejudo closed the gap with a big combination and once again trapped Moraes in the clinch, landing a few massive knees. Moraes couldn’t seem to find an answer for Cejudo’s clinch game despite landing an elbow. Cejudo was like a dog with a bone in the clinch, refusing to let go of Moraes. Cejduo locked up Moraes’ neck and went for a choke. Moraes escaped the choke attempt but took a brutal knee to the mid-section. On the canvas, Moraes threw up an armbar attempt but Cejudo landed a few massive hammerfists. The Flyweight Champion smelled blood and dropped a few hard elbows straight to Moraes’ head. The brutal ground and pound continued and Moraes looked completely depleted, no longer defending or able to break down Cejudo’s posture. Moraes appeared to try to rest on his back but Cejudo continued to pound on him. The referee had seen enough and waved it off; “The Messenger” sent a big message and became a double-champion.
In the post-fight interview, Cejudo demanded a bigger paycheck from Dana White, proclaiming his status atop the pound-for-pound rankings as the very best. Believing himself to be “the best combat athlete” to ever do it, he called out UFC Bantamweights Cody Garbrandt, Dominic Cruz, and newly “un-retired” Urijah Faber before telling Joe Rogan that his future plans include a run at the Featherweight Title as well, in order to become the first to hold not one, not two, but three championship belts at once.
Co-Main Event Breakdown
Shevchenko vs Eye
In what was an absolute clinic put on by the Women’s Flyweight Champion, Valentina Shevchenko lived up to all of the hype that swirls around her. Jessica Eye was a game opponent, and came into the fight looking absolutely fierce.
In round one, Eye came out of the gates swinging, but was unable to match Shevchenko’s kicking game, eating three big body kicks before blocking a fourth. Shevchenko locked Eye up and tossed her to the canvas like a wet towel. “Bullet” was stuck in half guard momentarily before transitioning into full mount. Eye was able to secure the champion back into half guard while landing strikes from the bottom. After a lull in the action, Eye was able to get back to her feet. Shevchenko battered Eye with punches before she flung Eye to the mat with ease, landing in side control. The champion secured a mounted crucifix and punished Eye with brutal ground and pound before attempting a kimura. Eye powered out of the submission attempt as the round came to a close. BreakingFightNews scored the round as an easy 10-8 round for the champion, as Eye didn’t seem to have any answer for “Bullet.”
The second round kicked off quite literally with a few massive body kicks by Shevchenko. The champion appeared to be baiting Eye into dropping her guard. Shevchenko threw another big kick, this time to the challenger’s head, connecting so hard that it sounded like a Major League batter smashing a home run. Eye wilted to the canvas; she was out cold. Shevchenko absolutely starched Eye, leaving her unconscious for a concerning amount of time. The champion retrained her title, remaining humble yet poise for any challenger who comes her way.
“The People’s Main Event” Breakdown
Ferguson vs Cerrone
A fight years in the making, Ferguson vs Cerrone did not disappoint, though it’s anticlimactic ending all but guarantees a highly competitive rematch.
Both fighters looked more than ready heading into the first round. “Cowboy” landed a solid leg kick but came up short with a head kick attempt. “El Cucuy” responded with a kick to the mid-section. Cerrone connected with a stiff jab, as did Ferguson. Ferguson landed a hard body shot followed by a jab and a big jab from Cerrone found it’s mark. Ferguson connected with a big right hook and Cerrone responded with a solid inside leg kick. Ferguson threw a kick to the body of Cerrone that landed, initiating a back-and-forth flurry by both fighters. Both men took to the center of the cage and traded big shots, with Cerrone edging out the exchanges on the feet. “El Cucuy” landed a sneaky elbow that left a mark on the face of Cerrone. Cerrone threw a big combination, connecting with a few strikes that prompted Ferguson to respond with a solid left hand. Ferguson was slipping and rolling strikes, including a kick head kick attempt by Cerrone. Ferguson put his unique footwork on display, unpredictably switching his stance at will. Ferguson connected with a big left hand and kick to the body. Cerrone responded with accurate punches and ate a right by Ferguson before narrowly escaping a sneaky spinning elbow. Ferguson began to bleed and countered with a body kick. Cerrone found success with punches to the body of Ferguson but absorbed a big front kick to the chest in the process. Cerrone rocked Ferguson in the final seconds of the round with a left, prompting both fighters to go for broke with an excellent exchange. This explosive round was close and highly competitive one, but BreakingFightNews saw it 10-9 for Cerrone.
The second round kicked off with a savage body kick by Ferguson, followed by a crippling right hand. Cerrone was stunned and ate another body kick and a hard left. Ferguson began to pick Cerrone apart with a big uppercut and more body kicks, connecting solidly. Ferguson landed a leg kick and right hand that seemingly came from nowhere, but Cerrone countered with a slick right. Cerrone was clipped by a headkick but answered back with a big right hand. Ferguson dictated the range and stung Cerrone with a stiff jab. The tough-as-nails Cerrone ate a massive left and his face began to show damage. Cerrone blocked a head kick attempt but was unable to defend against Ferguson’s spinning elbow. Ferguson was accurate with heavy jabs, but Cerrone pressured forward. Ferguson missed with another spinning elbow and briefly ended up on the canvas after a takedown by Cerrone. Before “Cowboy” could capitalize, Ferguson had already shot up to his feet. Cerrone looked battered but kissed “El Cucuy” with a nice head kick. Both fighters began trading hard punches, with Ferguson finding success with a body kick and an elbow that brutalized Cerrone’s busted up face. The round came to a close but Ferguson continued to strike, landing a big right hand well after the bell. The referee angrily warned “El Cucuy” of his actions, but Ferguson waved him off. “Cowboy” looked a bit stunned and understandably annoyed by the late punch. BreakingFightNews saw the fight at this point as a round a piece, at 19-19.
Cerrone looked mangled, with an obviously broken nose. A frustrated “Cowboy” broke the cardinal rule of broken noses and blew his nose between rounds in an attempt to get some airflow through his nostrils. Cerrone’s already “pissed off” right eye immediately inflated from the pressure and swelled completely shut, vastly impeding his vision. The doctor entered the cage, took one look at his eye, and called a stop to the contest. The referee made use of the newly allowed instant replay feature to determine whether or not the late punch by Ferguson directly lead to the severe inflammation of Cerrone’s eye, but came to the conclusion that his injury was unrelated. “El Cucuy” had won the bout via TKO/Medical Stoppage.
BreakingFightNews would love to see these two warriors run it back, with the late blow constituting an immediate rematch in our book.
There was a ton of action on tonight’s UFC 238 card, with the final three fights leaving fans in awe. This was the card of the year thus far and many fighters’ stock went up (so to speak) with the fans after a night of tremendous showings. UFC 238 is in the books with a newly crowned double champion, a highlight reel headkick KO for the ages, and an absolute war that is sure to result in a future rematch headliner between two of the best lightweights to ever step foot into the Octagon.
Author: Bailey Silveira