Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes
|Date & Time||Saturday June 8, 2019, 11:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Cejudo -102 / Moraes -112 -- Over/Under:
Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes fight Saturday during UFC 238 at the United Center.
Henry Cejudo enters this fight with a 14-2 record and has won 57 percent of his fights by decision. Cejudo has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a January win over T.J. Dillashaw. Cejudo is averaging 3.56 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43 percent. Cejudo is averaging 2.30 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 36 percent. Cejudo successfully defended his flyweight championship with a quick knockout victory that included relentless ground and pound. Some would say it was an early stoppage, but it was some impressive scrambling from the champ, and he’s now earned performance bonuses in two of his last three fights. Cejudo is arguably the most accomplished wrestler in the sport, as he has several gold medals in freestyle wrestling and is usually always in control of a fight on the canvas. While wrestling is his background, Cejudo is also a much improved striker, which he showed in his last fight and in his bout against Wilson Reis where he dropped him with one shot. Cejudo has become a much more balanced fighter over the years and his conditioning remains on point for somebody who is so stocky and has a massive upper body. This will be Cejudo’s first career fight in Illinois.
Marlon Moraes enters this fight with a 22-5-1 record and has won 48 percent of his fights by knockout. Moraes has won 10 of his last 11 fights and is coming off a February win over Raphael Assuncao. Moraes is averaging 3.23 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 35 percent. Moraes is averaging 0.43 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 25 percent. Moraes got his revenge against his fellow Brazilian with a second round submission where he landed two strong right hands and locked in a guillotine choke. Moraes has now won each of his last four fights and has earned performance of the night honors in each of his last three. Moraes is a balanced fighter who has raw striking power, a background in Thai boxing and uses his legs well. Seven of Moraes’ last eight victories have been finishes, and five of his last six finishes have come by use of his legs or knees. Moraes is a polished standup striker who is very creative and unpredictable, so it makes his opponents a bit hesitant at times. Moraes is also a respectable takedown defense who has six submission victories. This will be Moraes’ first career fight in Illinois.
This is going to be a fun fight between two balanced, well conditioned fighters who are highly intelligent and technically sound. Cejudo has the edge on the canvas and can be a bit safe at times in the clinch and on the ground, which is why a lot of his bouts go to the canvas. Moraes is the far more polished striker and shows countless times he only needs one kick to either produce a knockout or open up things for him to find a submission hold on the ground. If forced to pick who wins, I’d give the edge to Moraes because of his striking technique and the fact he can create distance from Cejudo getting the fight where he wants it. However, the safer pick to me is predicting this bout doesn’t go the distance. Yes, Cejudo has a ton of decisions on his resume, but only one of them was five rounds. It’s tough seeing 25 minutes between two guys who are so polished and need just one mistake from their opponent. Moraes is a quick worker and usually makes his opponent pay for one slip-up.
I give Moraes the edge, but predicting a finish is a safer bet.