Ultimate Fighting Championship announced yesterday that the June 8th UFC 238 event in Chicago will feature a bantamweight title main event between flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes. The co-main event will be a title bout in the women’s flyweight division between champion Valentina Shevchenko and challenger Jessica Eye.
Cejudo (14-2) lost his first title opportunity against Demetrious Johnson but came back with a vengeance to dethrone the former top pound-for-pound fighter this past August. He cemented himself as one of the best fighters on the planet when he destroyed then-bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw via TKO in just 32 seconds in January. Moraes (22-5-1) made a name for himself outside the UFC by becoming the World Series of Fighting bantamweight champion. He has been a force since joining the UFC, going 4-1 with three straight finishes including a submission victory to avenge his lone UFC loss to Rafael Assuncao in February.
Shevchenko (16-3) earned the women’s flyweight title when she defeated former strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision in December. Shevchenko also holds victories over top bantamweights Holly Holm and Julianna Pena. Eye (14-6, 1 no contest) was widely considered the best female 125-pounder before she signed with the UFC in 2013 and was forced to fight at bantamweight. She has won all three of her fights at 125 pounds since dropping back to flyweight last January, most recently earning a decision over top contender Katlyn Chookagian.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas explained his rationale for setting the opening odds for both bouts.
“Marlon Moraes is a natural bantamweight and will hold a size and strength advantage over the flyweight champion Henry Cejudo. Moraes is an incredibly talented precision striker with an improving ground game, capable of finishing opponents both standing and on the canvas. That being said, I’ve learned to never underestimate the former Olympic gold medal winner Cejudo. Cejudo possesses elite wrestling skills and his striking power and improving boxing make him a constant finishing threat on the feet. There are paths to victory for Cejudo and this should be a competitive contest, but I expect Moraes’ size and striking technique to give him the edge here and the betting public is likely to follow suit.”“Valentina Shevchenko established herself as one of, if not the best female fighter on the UFC roster when she won the women’s flyweight title this past December. In Jessica Eye, Shevchenko faces an underrated opponent who has experienced a career resurgence since dropping down to her natural 125 pounds, a division where she was once considered the best in the world. That being said, I don’t see one single area in this contest where Eye has a technique or skill advantage over Shevchenko. Shevchenko possesses elite striking, dangerous submissions and can push a high pace for five rounds. Eye will have her hands full and can threaten with her improving wrestling, but I don’t expect that to be enough to make a difference on the scorecards.”
The odds for the UFC 238 main and co-main events are posted below via Several Bookmakers.
UFC 238: Chicago, Illinois – June 8th 2019
UFC Bantamweight Title
Henry Cejudo +155
Marlon Moraes -185
UFC Women’s Flyweight Title
Jessica Eye +600
Valentina Shevchenko -1000
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