UFC 238 Recap: Cejudo Becomes Double Champ, Shevchenko Retains
Recapping UFC 238, where Henry Cejudo became just the fourth simultaneous double champion in UFC history.
Updated: June 9, 2019 • 1:15 PM ET
Henry Cejudo is the flyweight and bantamweight champion.
Henry Cejudo made history at UFC 238 on Saturday in Chicago, putting him in a small group of elite pound-for-pound fighters. He entered his fight with Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight title as the flyweight champion with a chance to become just the fourth simultaneous double champion in UFC history. And in impressive fashion, Cejudo seized the moment.
Moraes got off to a quick start in the first round, landing multiple combinations and leg kicks. His speed was clearly giving Cejudo issues, and it looked like it could be a long night for the flyweight champ. But as the fight progressed midway through the second round, the volume of punches Moraes had thrown left him visibly gassed and Cejudo began landing strikes.
Cejudo connected with a knee to Moraes’ body in the third round and took him down, getting top position. After the takedown, the former Olympic wrestler used precise ground-and-pound that left Moraes unable to defend himself, forcing referee Marc Goddard to step in.
With the win, Cejudo (15-2) joined Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes and Daniel Cormier as just the fourth fighter to simultaneously hold belts in two divisions. After the fight, Cejudo expressed his desire to move up to featherweight and fight for a third belt. The 32-year-old also called out former champions Dominick Cruz, Cody Garbrandt and UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber.
The loss was only the second in the UFC for Moraes, and he still remains a top contender in the bantamweight division. He’ll likely have to win a fight or two to get back to a title shot, and if No. 3 ranked bantamweight Aljamain Sterling, who won in the prelims against Pedro Munhoz, does not get the next title shot, perhaps a rematch between Moraes and Sterling could be scheduled.
Shevchenko dominates in co-main event
In Saturday’s co-main event, women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko successfully defended her title by knocking out No. 1 contender Jessica Eye with a vicious head kick. The champion dominated the fight from the start and put an exclamation point on the bout in the second round with one of the best knockouts this year. Shevchenko solidified her position as the top flyweight in the world, and there doesn’t seem to be a real threat in the division to take her title at the moment.
Ferguson disfigures cerrone leading to stoppage
One of the most anticipated fights of the year was also on the card, as lightweights Tony Ferguson and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone clashed in the Octagon.
Both fighters entered as massive fan favorites because of their willingness to not only inflict punishment, but take it as well. Cerrone’s attitude about fighting anyone, anytime, anywhere, has made him a draw for many years in the UFC and one of the most interesting stories in MMA, whether he wins or loses.
Saturday’s fight had instant classic written all over it. As soon as it began, the No. 4 ranked Cerrone and No. 2 ranked Ferguson began trading blows, bloodying each other and swinging until the horn signaled the end of the first round. In the second round, Ferguson began having success and used multiple body kicks to slow Cerrone down. After the end of the second round, Cerrone’s right eye was swollen shut and the bout’s doctor deemed him unable to continue.
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Cerrone and the 18,000-plus fans in attendance weren’t happy. The ending was also slightly marred by controversy, as Ferguson landed a punch after the second round was over. Referee Dan Miragliotta, however, didn’t consider it a foul.
Despite the unfavorable conclusion to the fight, Ferguson should clearly be next in line for a title shot in the lightweight division. He has won 12 straight fights and 15 overall in the UFC, while only losing once. The 35-year-old is a former interim champion and has been scheduled to fight lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov three different times. It’s a fight fans will call for, should Nurmagomedov defeat interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in September.
Fans can expect Cerrone to fight again as soon as his health allows him and given his reputation, he’ll likely want it to be against a top contender. At the post fight news conference, UFC president Dana White said Cerrone (36-12, 1 NC) was transported to the hospital because of broken right orbital bone.
The rest of the main card results
Bantamweight bout - Petr Yan def. Jimmie Rivera by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Heavyweight bout - Blagoy Ivanov def. Tai Tuivasa by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
ESPN Prelims results
Women's strawweight bout - Tatiana Suarez def. Nina Ansaroff by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Bantamweight bout - Aljamain Sterling def. Pedro Munhoz by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Women's strawweight bout - Alexa Grasso def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Featherweight bout - Calvin Kattar def. Ricardo Lamas by KO/TKO (punches)
UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims results
Women's strawweight bout - Xiaonan Yan def. Angela Hill by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Middleweight bout - Darren Stewart def. Bevon Lewis by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Bantamweight bout - Eddie Wineland def. Grigorii Popov by TKO (punches)
Women's flyweight bout - Katlyn Chookagian def. Joanne Calderwood by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)