The UFC loves the Windy City as this Saturday the promotion will stage its seventh overall card at Chicago’s United Center and second time for a pay-per-view event. UFC 238 is headlined by a bantamweight title fight between Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
If you go look at the UFC’s rankings page, you will not see a picture or listing of a bantamweight champion. That’s because the division’s former champion, T.J. Dillashaw, vacated it when he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He has since been suspended for two years, not able to return to the Octagon until January 2021. That test result came out after Dillashaw fought for the flyweight title in January against Cejudo and lost just 32 seconds in by TKO (punches). So the bantamweight title has been vacant since.
Cejudo (14-2), a 2008 Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, will attempt to become the UFC’s next two-division champion as he’s moving up from flyweight for this bout. However, he is a -105 underdog on the UFC 238 betting lines. The 32-year-old Cejudo has won four in a row since back-to-back losses to Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. Interestingly, Cejudo has that wrestling background yet has never won a fight by submission.
Moraes (22-5) is a 31-year-old from Brazil who is a -125 favorite. “Magic” is on a four-fight winning streak since losing by split decision to Raphael Assuncao at UFC 212. Moraes avenged that loss in February with a first-round submission (guillotine choke). The majority of his victories (45 percent) are by KO/TKO. Moraes is ranked the No. 1 contender in the bantamweight division.
There’s also a women’s flyweight title fight between champion Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Eye. Shevchenko is a huge -1200 favorite on the odds with Eye at +700.
The Peruvian Shevchenko (16-3) won the vacant flyweight title by defeating former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in December by unanimous decision. Shevchenko’s losses have come to current UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes twice as well as Liz Carmouche way back in 2010 in a different organization.
Eye (14-6), a 32-year-old American, has won her past three following losses to Miesha Tate, Julianna Pena, Sara McMann and Bethe Correia. Eye is ranked as the No. 1 contender in the flyweight division but has never been this big of an underdog.