UFC 238 takes place June 8 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois, and the card recently had a number of new bouts added to the card. Below are my initial thoughts on them.
Aljamain Sterling vs. Pedro Munhoz, UFC 238
Top bantamweight contenders Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz are set to meet at UFC 238. The bout was first reported by ESPN. Sterling (17-3) is 9-3 in the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight win streak that includes a decision win over Jimmie Rivera his last time out. Munhoz (18-3, 1 NC) is 8-3, 1 NC and is also riding a three-fight win streak that includes an incredible KO over Cody Garbrandt in his last bout. Although Sterling has looked great lately and is finally starting to live up to his potential, Munhoz’ win over Garbrandt showed that he’s an elite bantamweight in the sport, and he deserves to be the favorite in this fight.
Jimmie Rivera vs. Petr Yan, UFC 238
As well, bantamweights Jimmie Rivera and Petr Yan will fight at UFC 238. Rivera (22-3) is an impressive 6-2 overall in the UFC but is coming off of a decision loss to Aljamain Sterling. Yan (12-1) is 4-0 in the UFC and most recently defeated John Dodson by decision. Rivera has been a solid bantamweight for many years inside the Octagon but with a 1-2 record over his last three fights is starting to show serious signs of a decline, whereas Yan looks like he might be a future champion at 135lbs. I’d expect Yan to be a sizeable favorite in this bout.
Ricardo Lamas vs. Calvin Kattar, UFC 238
An intriguing featherweight bout pits Ricardo Lamas against Calvin Kattar. The news of the bout was first reported by The Chicago Tribune. Lamas (19-7) is 10-5 overall in the UFC and is coming off of a TKO win over Darren Elkins. Kattar (19-3) is 3-1 in the UFC and most recently defeated Chris Fishgold by TKO. Lamas has been a great, underrated featherweight for many years inside the Octagon, but Kattar has looked amazing in every fight he’s had in the UFC save for his decision loss to Renato Moicano. I would have to slightly favor Kattar to win this fight.
Felice Herrig vs. Xiaonan Yan, UFC 238
Women’s strawweights collide as Felice Herrig is set to take on Xiaonan Yan. Herrig (14-8) is a Chicago-area native who is 5-3 overall in the UFC, but she’s coming off of back-to-back decision losses to Michelle Waterson and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Yan (10-0, 1 NC) is 3-0 so far in the UFC but her best win is probably over Kailin Curran. Yan is a decent prospect at 115lbs, but I’m not ready to write off Herrig just yet, and I would have to favor her to win this fight.
Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov, UFC 238
And finally, heavyweights Tai Tuivasa and Blagoy Ivanov will clash at UFC 238. Tuivasa (8-1) is 3-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a brutal TKO loss to Junior dos Santos. Ivanov (17-2, 1 NC) is 1-1 in the UFC with a decision loss to JDC and a decision win over Ben Rothwell. This looks like a coin flip, but based on Tuivasa’s youth advantage and KO power I’d slightly lean towards him to get the win.