UFC 238 - Quick Picks for a Deep Card

PUBLISHED: Wednesday, June 5th, 2019
LAST UPDATE: 03:12 pm, Tue, October 29, 2019

UFC 238 - Quick Picks for a Deep Card
The two title fights at UFC 238 drew our curiosity. But with the late addition of Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone onto the undercard, the pay-per-view officially has our attention.

Date & Time
June 8th, 2019 10:00pm
United Center in Chicago, Illinois
Media Coverage

UFC 238 takes place on Saturday June 8, 2019 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The main card airs on pay-per-view starting 10pm ET.

The two title fights at UFC 238 drew our curiosity. But with the late addition of Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone onto the undercard, the pay-per-view officially has our attention. The card was already deep with important fights, but the lightweight contest gives it a jolt of starpower plus a pairing of the UFC’s most exciting fighters.

In the main event, Henry “BTW I Have a Gold Medal” Cerrone goes for double champ status in a matchup against Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight title. Besides Cejudo’s quest for history, Moraes has been authoring some of the most violent finishes in recent memory.

The co-main features Valentina Shevchenko making her first title defense, and a scrap with Jessica Eye should tell us just how far ahead of the pack the champ is. After Jones, Shevchenko feels like the fighter best positioned to dominate her current division for years.

Also on the card is an important bantamweight tilt between Petyr Yan and Jimmie Rivera. We’re itching to see more of Yan, a punishing boxer who many feel could challenge for the title. Tatiana Suarez - the strawweight Khabib Nurmagomedov - could potentially earn a title against Nina Ansaroff.

We’ve got a lot to cover here, so let’s jump right into your best online betting picks. Make sure to check out our top-5 online sportsbooks for UFC odds, as prices can vary from book to book. Live UFC betting is also available, so you can hedge your bets between rounds while you’re watching the fights.

Main Event, Bantamweight Championship

Henry Cejudo +110 vs. Marlon Moraes -130
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +135 / -175

Henry Cejudo, All-Time Great?

Not only is The Messenger fighting for the rare double champ status, but considering his last two wins came against Demetrious Johnson and a juiced up TJ Dillashaw, Cejudo could become one of the top pound-for-pound guys in the sport. That’s amazing for a guy that seemed destined to be just another of the flyweight hopefuls who would never beat Mighty Mouse.

Moraes opened as a slight favorite, and that’s based on the assumption that it’ll be tougher for Cejudo to use his wrestling against the naturally bigger man. If Cejudo’s not landing his takedowns, he’ll have to reckon with a guy that just might be the most dangerous striker in the bantamweight division. Cejudo will likely be the faster guy, but as long as Moraes is standing he’s a threat to end the fight with a well-placed anything.

Our pick: Cejudo to win at +110

Alternate pick: Fight goes to decision

We lean on Cejudo’s speed and takedowns as a minus underdog. Moraes hasn’t had to deal with a wrestler of Cejudo’s caliber, and there are holes in his defensive wrestling. We wouldn’t blame you if you were hesitant to pick a winner, so the other pick is that the fight goes to decision. Both guys are durable, well-conditioned and skilled enough to make it to the scorecards.

Co-Main Event, Women’s Flyweight Championship

Jessica Eye +785 vs. Valentina Shevchenko -1550

Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: -105 / -135

The Forces of “Evil” Aren’t Enough

Shevchenko has yet to make a title defense, yet she’s getting the type of price we were used to seeing when Ronda Rousey,Cris Cyborg and Demetrious Johnson seemed untouchable.

Yes, all three lost in huge upsets at some point, but it really doesn’t seem like an upset is likely here. Shevchenko nearly beat double champ Nunes twice at bantamweight, and that’s a weight class where Eye struggled mightily. While “Evil” looks better at 125 pounds, her three-fight winning streak to get here is somewhat inflated by the fact that she barely eked out split decision in two of those - both of which came against middle class fighters (if we’re being generous).

Our Pick: Shevchenko to win by decision +134

Shevchenko’s price is too expensive to play straight up, so we recommend taking her to win by decision. Eye is strong, athletic and has only been finished once in her career. Valentina has gotten better at stopping her opponents, but she is a defensive points fighter by nature.

Lightweight Division

Donald Cerrone +124 vs. Tony Ferguson -155

Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +105 / -135

Hi Kids, Do You Like Violence?

In the past, I’ve compared Ferguson to a honey badger and Taz from Looney Tunes. Here’s a new one for you: El Cucuy is basically Mexican Wolverine. It makes total sense! He doesn’t get tired, fights angry, never stops coming at you, and has a healing factor that lets him recover from ungodly amounts of punishment at inhuman speed.

Cerrone is what he is: an awesome high-level fighter with tons of experience. His highly technical kickboxing and flashy submission game lets him expose most of his opponents’ weaknesses. Not long ago, a 1-4 slide left many questioning if he was close to done, but his second stint at lightweight has gone exceptionally well - and he’s right back in the lightweight title mix after impressive wins over Alex Hernandez and Al Iaquinta.

Our pick: Ferguson to win at -155

Alternate pick: Ferguson inside the distance +185

There are a few established ways to beat Cerrone: Powerful wrestlers can put him on the mat and hold him there. Bigger fighters can bully him. Swarmers can overwhelm him. Ferguson can’t do the first two, but he is the very definition of a swarmer - one who doesn’t get tired and is completely unpredictable in all faces. We like the win price on Ferguson, but seriously consider betting that he finishes within the distance. When things go south for Cerrone, they tend to spiral out of control quickly.

Quick Pick

Tatiana Suarez finishes Nina Ansaroff inside the distance -180

Suarez absolutely fits the Khabib comparisons. We don’t see Ansaroff stopping her takedowns nor being able to handle the vicious GNP. At some point, the undefeated Suarez is going to either beat her opponent into submission, over punish her so severely that a submission presents itself.

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