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UFC 238 Betting Preview: Cejudo vs. Moraes & Cerrone vs. Ferguson

Let’s take an in-depth look at two matchups taking place at Saturday’s UFC 238.

Henry Cejudo (+115) vs. Marlon Moraes (-135)

T.J. Dillashaw’s recent trouble with the USADA has forced him to relinquish the title and it is now up for grabs.  Henry Cejudo can now become a two-division champion with a win over Marlon Moraes.  Cejudo has improved considerably in each and every fight. He’s beaten the likes of Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson.  Those two wins alone have given Cejudo the confidence to display his brash attitude.  Moraes is a Brazilian fighter training out of New Jersey under the tutelage of Mark Henry.  Let’s examine some pros and cons of both fighters.

Factors pointing towards Cejudo: 

  • Henry is an Olympic gold medal winning wrestler. 
  • Moraes hasn’t faced many wrestlers in his career.  
  • Improvement shown in every fight. 
  • Displays a strong mindset and game plans differently with each opponent.  

Factors pointing towards Moraes: 

  • The more experienced fighter and holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 
  • Should be the bigger fighter with Cejudo moving up a weight class. 
  • Can finish the fight with KO power or with a submission. 
  • Been training with Frankie Edgar and should help him prepare for a fighter like Cejudo. 

Cejudo hasn’t lacked any confidence leading up to fight night, but it’s worth noting that Moraes is the betting favoriteThe question is how much will Cejudo keep improving and what is that worth in terms of value when deciding which side to look at.  I think we all know who Moraes is but we do not know Cejudo”s ceiling because his MMA career is still lacking in terms of experience. Cejudos first professional fight was back in 2013 while Moraes’ credentials date back to 2007. 

Donald Cerrone (+130) vs. Tony Ferguson (-150)

This isn’t the main event or even the co-main event, but this is no question the best matchup on the card.  Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-11) enters on a three-fight winning streak and is on another title run.  Since the birth of his son, Cerrone has been revitalized and is fighting with a new purpose. His last three wins have come as an underdog and against younger fighters. Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson enters on an 11-fight win streak but there is much concern about his frame of mind.  It’s been made public that Tony has been dealing with personal problems.  An article released by TMZ back in March stated that Tony had been,“acting violent, paranoid and delusional for the past several months and needs help.” Here are some things to consider when analyzing the fight from a betting perspective. 

Factors pointing towards Cerrone: 

  • In good form and has momentum and purpose behind him. 
  • Ferguson’s recent news of mental health issues. 
  • Ferguson has also dealt with injuries throughout his career most recently a major knee surgery less than 14 months ago. 
  • Fights often and is always in good shape. 
  • Is well rounded and can win standing or on the ground. 

Factors pointing towards Ferguson: 

  • Never quits and has never shown signs of slowing down in a fight. 
  • Constantly moves forward in fights; “Cowboy” has had trouble with pressure fighters in the past. 
  • Tony’s unorthodox style is difficult to figure out. 
  • Cerrone has shown signs of quit when uncomfortable in past fights. 
  • This is a difficult weight cut for Cerrone (155) which could be taxing. 

Other fights on the main card include a championship showdown in the women’s flyweight division; Valentina Shevchenko (-1500) defends her title against Jessica Eye (+900). And in a battle of bantamweights, Jimmie Rivera (+270) looks to fend off the surging Peter Yan (-350).  

Brandon Wittmeyer

Brandon Wittmeyer is a professional gambler in Las Vegas and has earned a living doing so for the last 15 years. He specializes in college football, college basketball, NFL and mixed martial arts. He also educates and advises others on many gambling topics including sports betting and poker. Brandon is featured occasionally on the Vegas Sports Information Network (VSIN) and you can hear him on podcasts regularly. He has written for Card Player magazine in the past about betting and poker strategies. His poker resume includes winning a World Series of Poker Bracelet and a WSOP Circuit Ring.