UFC 238: Cejudo wins bantamweight gold, Shevchenko retains title, Ferguson TKOs Cerrone

Henry Cejudo stops Marlon Moraes to add UFC bantamweight gold to his collection

It’s safe to say Henry Cejudo likes gold.

The 2008 Olympic gold medallist became the first fighter to ever win gold in the games as well as a UFC title, achieved in 2018 in a split decision win over Demetrious Johnson.

After knocking out T.J. Dillashaw in his sole defence of the UFC flyweight belt, he moved up a weight class to fight for the bantamweight championship left vacant by Dillashaw following a failed drug test.

Marlon Moraes, himself a former World Series of Fighting bantamweight champion, proved a tricky opponent for Cejudo early going.

The Brazilian ate up Cejudo’s legs as the Arizonan advanced and landed plenty of punches on his smaller opponent on the way in.

But Cejudo does not relent.

In the second round, Cejudo switched up the gameplan and went for broke in taking the fight to Moraes, happy to get hit if he can land some shots of his own.

It worked, Moraes hit Cejduo plenty but was visibly tiring under the endless pressure Cejudo was putting him under. Punches, kicks, knees in the clinch, Cejudo poured it on Moraes to emphatically switch up the momentum of the fight in the second round.

Cejudo continued in the same vein in the third round as his new approach to the fight was clearly working.

Wilting under Cejudo’s pressure, Moraes soon found himself caught in a tight-looking anaconda choke. He escaped, but Moraes retained a dominant position on the ground to land some crushing shots from above.

Tired and unable to defend himself properly, referee Marc Goddard rightly called the fight off less than 10 seconds before the round’s end.

Cejudo is your new UFC bantamweight champion and the fourth fighter to simultaneously hold two UFC titles.

 

Valentina Shevchenko head kick KOs Jessica Eye

Valentina Shevchenko made light work of Jessica Eye as she made her first defence of the UFC women’s flyweight belt.

The Kyrgyzstan kickboxer tendered up Eye’s body in the early stages of the fight, slamming her leg into the Cleveland fighter’s midriff on repeat.

Shevchenko then showed off her dominant top game after taking a retreating Eye down with ease to soften up her opponent further. “Bullet” also came close to submitting Eye with a kimura late in the first, but the challenger showed some real grit to escape what looked like a painful position to be in.

That early body work paid dividends for Shevchenko.

After being on the receiving end of more kicks to the body early in the second round, Eye looked to defend her liver once again as Shevchenko wound up her left leg.

However, Shevchenko aimed high this time and her shin connected with Eye’s head to knock her out unconscious, retaining her belt in dominant fashion.

It’s hard to see who any flyweight contenders who can match Shevchenko’s talent after one of the most devastating finishes in women’s MMA history.

Shevchenko remains your UFC women’s flyweight champion and she barely broke a sweat in doing so.

 

Tony Ferguson beats Donald Cerrone after doctor’s stoppage

Some fights look good on paper and fail to deliver. However, there were no doubts about this one.

Tony Ferguson cemented himself as the top UFC lightweight contender with a TKO victory over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 238, but it wasn’t the kind of win he’d want.

Cowboy brought the fight to Ferguson in the first round and looked to edge the opening stanza, landing the harder shots of the two.

But Ferguson maintains a fighting pace few can keep up with. “El Cucuy” went up a gear and landed a crazy array of strikes you’ve come to expect from Ferguson.

Kicks to the body, a piston jab, wild hooks and even crazier spinning back elbows. Ferguson threw everything but the kitchen sink at Cerrone, who bravely continued to advance to land strikes of his own.

Then came the fight’s controversial finish.

Ferguson landed a punch as the horn went to signal the end of the second round, seemingly dazing Cowboy before the two fighters headed back to their corners.

After their one minute of corner time was up, Cerrone went to blow his more-than-likely broken nose to clear it out ahead of the third. That action led to Cerrone’s right eye blowing up so much he was unable to see it.

The doctors were called to the Octagon to assess Cerrone’s physical capability to continue fighting, and they called the fight off handing Ferguson the TKO win.

Ferguson has since said he’d happily take Cowboy on again in a rematch, but he has now compiled a 12-fight win streak which surely puts him at the top of the pile in UFC’s stacked lightweight division.

The UFC lightweight championship will be on the line in September as Khabib Nurmagomedov seeks to unify the title against interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi.

 

 

UFC 238: Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes full results

Bantamweight championship: Henry Cejudo def. Marlon Moraes by TKO (elbows and punches) at 4:51 of round three
Women’s flyweight championship: Valentina Shevchenko (c) def. Jessica Eye by KO (head kick) at 0:26 of round two
Lightweight: Tony Ferguson def. Donald Cerrone by TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of round two
Bantamweight: Petr Yan def. Jimmie Rivera by unanimous decision after three rounds
Heavyweight: Blagoy Ivanov def. Tai Tuivasa by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s strawweight: Tatiana Suarez def. Nina Ansaroff by unanimous decision after three rounds
Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling def. Pedro Munhoz by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s strawweight: Alexa Grasso def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz by unanimous decision after three rounds
Featherweight: Calvin Kattar def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punches) at 4:06 of round one
Women’s strawweight: Xiaonan Yan def. Angela Hill by unanimous decision after three rounds
Middleweight: Darren Stewart def. Bevon Lewis by unanimous decision after three rounds
Bantamweight: Eddie Wineland def. Grigory Popov by TKO (punches) at 4:47 of round two
Women’s flyweight: Katlyn Chookagian def. Joanne Calderwood by unanimous decision after three rounds