Photo courtesy: UFC
Welcome to our coverage of the UFC 238 card from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Tonight on the site, I’ll be joined by Phil Chertok for our UFC 238 POST Show reviewing the card and going through all the news & notes from the show.
*Katlyn Chookagian def. Joanne Calderwood by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Eddie Wineland def. Grigorii Popov by KO at 4:47 of Round 2
*Darren Stewart def. Bevon Lewis by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Yan Xiaonan def. Angela Hill by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Calvin Kattar def. Ricardo Lamas by KO at 4:06 of Round 1
*Alexa Grasso def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Aljamain Sterling def. Pedro Munhoz by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Tatiana Suarez def. Nina Ansaroff by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Blagoy Ivanov def. Tai Tuivasa by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Petr Yan def. Jimmie Rivera by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Tony Ferguson def. Donald Cerrone by TKO at 5:00 of Round 2
*Valentina Shevchenko def. Jessica Eye by KO at 0:26 of Round 2 to retain the UFC flyweight title
*Henry Cejudo def. Marlon Moraes by TKO at 4:51 of Round 3 to become the UFC bantamweight title
Joanne Calderwood (13-3, 125) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (11-2, 125) – Flyweight
In the first round, Calderwood was lighting up Chookagian with inside leg kicks and would go on to land 76 throughout the fight. In the second round, Chookagian was more aggressive utilizing jabs to set up her right hands and offsetting Calderwood’s leg kicks by landing outside leg kicks of her own. Calderwood got a takedown at the end of the round but Chookagian was more active from her back. In the third, Calderwood slowed down and despite scoring another takedown, allowed Chookagian to get back up.
I had it 29-28 for Chookagian with the first round to Calderwood.
WINNER: Katlyn Chookagian by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Since returning to flyweight, Chookagian has gone 3-1 in the UFC with all six fights for the promotion going the distance.
Eddie Wineland (23-13-1, 135) vs. Grigorii Popov (14-2, 135) – Bantamweight
Wineland was on point throughout the fight and Popov was durable withstanding a lot of power shots that would have dropped others. Wineland cut Popov above the left eye and was teeing off with right hands. Popov absorbed them and landed a knee to the chin, but it was a big round for Wineland. In the second, Wineland blasted him with 4-5 right hands and set up for a D’arce but gave up on the submission. Wineland returned to landing rights and forced Popov down to a knee and finished him in the remaining seconds of the round.
WINNER: Eddie Wineland by KO at 4:47 of Round 2
Wineland needed a win, following decision losses to John Dodson and Alejandro Perez in his last two fights. This was his first victory since December 2016 and had been hampered with a bad foot injury since his last fight in July 2018.
Bevon Lewis (6-1, 186) vs. Darren Stewart (9-4, 1 NC, 185.5) – Middleweight
This was a boring fight and the audience checked out. Stewart started the fight with two big leg kicks that knocked Lewis off balance and was the most effective striking of the fight. The leg kicks won him the round and was most action of the three rounds. In the second, Stewart started with another leg kick and things slowed down. Lewis did land a knee up high in his most effective strike of the bout. There was minimal action in the second. In the third, it was a coin flip round because of inactivity. Lewis had control of the back standing but never got a takedown in four attempts, they clinched for long periods and it was dull.
I scored it 29-28 for Stewart.
WINNER: Darren Stewart by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Yan Xiaonan (10-1, 1 NC 116) vs. Angela Hill (9-6, 116) – Strawweight
It was a very close fight. I felt Hill won the first and third rounds, but all three judges scored it 29-28 for Xiaonan.
Hill was eating jabs and right hands until scoring a takedown. Later in the round, Xiaonan got her own takedown but nearly caught with a triangle as time expired. Xiaonan won the second round utilizing sidekicks, a takedown and an elbow after scoring it. Xiaonan went for a spinning back fist at the end and was tagged. In the third, Hill was landing more and stunned her with a right hand, a step-in elbow connected and then worked her jab.
WINNER: Yan Xiaonan by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
Xiaonan is unbeaten since 2010, although did have a nearly five-year layoff during that stretch. She is 4-0 since entering the UFC in November 2017. Hill fell to 9-7 and has lost three of her last four fights. This was also Hill’s third fight in 2019.
Ricardo Lamas (19-7, 145) vs. Calvin Kattar (19-3, 145) – Featherweight
Lamas was light on his feet at the beginning but seemed affected after a checked kick. Kattar was crisp with his strikes. Lamas landed a body kick and then ate a left hook-right hand combination and was dropped with Kattar following up with shots on the ground for the stoppage.
WINNER: Calvin Kattar by KO at 4:06 of Round 1
Kattar improved to 20-3 and is 4-1 in his UFC campaign. Lamas falls to 19-8 and has lost three of four.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-4, 116) vs. Alexa Grasso (10-2, 115) – Strawweight
This was Grasso’s best performance and dominated Kowalkiewicz, a former title challenger. She was so much faster and never slowed throughout the fight. In the first round, she was quick with her right hands while busting open Kowalkiewicz’s nose and mouth. Grasso more than doubled the significant strikes landed and thrown than Kowalkiewicz’s output. It continued in the second, with Grasso landing with her jab and wobbling Kowalkiewicz with a big shot. Grasso had an even stronger round in the third, drilling Kowalkiewicz with repeated knees in the clinch as Kowalkiewicz had no answer for the relentless pace.
You could argue the third round was a 10-8 but I stayed 10-9 and had it 30-27 for Grasso.
WINNER: Alexa Grasso by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
It was a massive statement from Grasso, who bounced back from a loss to Tatiana Suarez to up her record to 11-2 with her third win in the UFC. She looked fantastic in the fight. It was the third consecutive loss for Kowalkiewicz following losses to Jessica Andrade and Michelle Waterson.
Aljamain Sterling (17-3, 135) vs. Pedro Munhoz (18-3, 135.5) – Bantamweight
This was the best fight on the show, so far. Sterling looked excellent with constant pressure using kicks to the body and connecting with his hands. Sterling won the first and third rounds with the second round being the closest.
In the second, Munhoz was piling up leg kicks and eventually dropped Sterling with a leg kick. He attempted a choke and quickly gave up on it. The round was still close with Sterling landing a spinning back fist and elbow in the round. Sterling upped the pace in the third round even more as he circled and was throwing body kicks nonstop and even went to the leg. It was an excellent performance from Sterling.
WINNER: Aljamain Sterling by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
Sterling improved his stock a lot with his fourth straight win and sixth of his last seven.
Tatiana Suarez (7-0, 114) vs. Nina Ansaroff (10-5, 115) – Strawweight
Suarez did enough to win the fight by shutting down Ansaroff in the first two rounds with her wrestling, but the story was Ansaroff making Suarez look human in the third round. Ansaroff dictated her pace in the third round, landed a wheel kick and a right hook that landed clean. In the closing seconds, Ansaroff landed a flurry and it was the first time someone has made Suarez look vulnerable and did block numerous takedowns. It was a clear 29-28 fight for Suarez.
WINNER: Tatiana Suarez by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
Suarez is now 9-0 and wants to fight Jessica Andrade next. I would say based on this fight, Michelle Waterson may be the favorite to get that next title fight and wouldn’t be the worst thing for Suarez to fight another top contender before going for the championship.
Tai Tuivasa (10-1, 259) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (17-2, 251) – Heavyweight
It was a punishing fight with both throwing strikes for the full fifteen minutes. Ivanov dropped him in the first round, Tuivasa got back to his feet and landed with a right hand off of the fence. Ivanov stunned him again at the end of the round. Tuivasa’s best round was the second where he landed a right hand on the break and temporarily stunned Ivanov. The southpaw rebounded with left hands and elbows before attacking with a guillotine as time expired in the round, but he didn’t let go as the round expired. In the third, Ivanov attempted another guillotine and connected with knees to the head. Ivanov’s leg was giving him problems due to leg kicks but threw with his left hand consistently until the end of the fight.
I scored it 30-27 for Ivanov.
WINNER: Blagoy Ivanov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
It was a hard-hitting fight with Ivanov earning his second victory in the UFC and second in a row. It was Tuivasa’s second straight loss.
Jimmie Rivera (22-3, 136) vs. Petr Yan (12-1, 136) – Bantamweight
This was a close fight but Yan solidified the first two rounds in the final seconds. At the end of the first, Yan threw a wild left hand that connected and dropped Rivera, who was saved by the horn. Yan was having a strong performance in the second round where he blasted the lead left leg of Rivera and then dropped him again in the closing seconds. Rivera’s corner instructed their fighter to knock out Yan in the final round. Yan attacked the body, but Rivera kept coming back and landed a solid right straight on the face. Yan got a final takedown at the end.
WINNER: Petr Yan by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
It was Yan’s eighth straight win and improved to 13-1 and he said he wanted the next bantamweight title fight. Rivera falls to 22-4 and is the first time he has lost two straight.
Tony Ferguson (24-3, 155) vs. Donald Cerrone (36-11, 155.5) – Lightweight
It was an excellent fight up until the end. After two rounds, Cerrone’s right eye was swollen shut and led to a bizarre scene between rounds. Ferguson landed a brutal punch after the horn and some thought he had hit the bad eye, but it appeared it was on the nose. Before the third round, Cerrone blew his nose and his right eye completely swelled up and the ringside physicians would not allow him to continue and it was waved off with Ferguson winning by TKO.
The two round fight came as advertised. The first round was super-close with both getting their jab work going. Ferguson was cut by the right eye, but he was landing big strikes himself. The second round was a clear round for Ferguson, who busted up Cerrone’s face badly with his heavy shots. Cerrone scored a takedown and Ferguson got up immediately. Ferguson also connected with a big elbow before the shot after the horn sounded. It was a really bad shot that connected illegally and rocked Cerrone.
WINNER: Tony Ferguson by TKO at 5:00 of Round 2
Ferguson said he didn’t care who was next and apologized, as did Cerrone for the fight ending the way it did. Cerrone acknowledged he shouldn’t have blown his nose but made it clear the late punch by Ferguson wasn’t the reason for the fight ending and praised Ferguson.
Valentina Shevchenko (16-3, 124) vs. Jessica Eye (14-6, 1 NC, 125) – UFC flyweight title
This was one of the scariest knockouts you are going to witness. Shevchenko landed a body kick and then hit Eye with a violent head kick that caught all of Eye and she fell back and was out cold. It was several minutes before she regained consciousness and didn’t realize she was knocked out when she came to.
It was a dominant performance from Shevchenko. In the first round, she landed two takedowns and controlled her from half-guard and later side control before threatening with a crucifix and armbar before the round ended.
WINNER: Valentina Shevchenko by KO at 0:26 of Round 2
Henry Cejudo (14-2, 135) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-5-1, 134) – UFC bantamweight title
Henry Cejudo had a career-defining performance and making the requisite adjustments after being shut down in the first round.
In the first, Moraes worked at a distance and went high and low with his kicks that left Cejudo without answers and forcing the flyweight champion to change stances to avoid damage to his lead leg.
Cejudo came out in the second round and decided to get in close and make it a brawl. He connected with a left hook and put the pressure onto Moraes. He started connecting with right hands and uppercuts, but his biggest success was in a Thai clinch landing repeated knees to the head and body. It was all Cejudo until the round ended with Moraes hitting three shots, the last which rocked Cejudo. It was even after two rounds.
Cejudo continued to have success in the third, going back to the Thai clinch and then rolled for D’arce choke as Moraes was tired. Cejudo was on top and started dropping hammer fists. He got aggressive and finished Moraes with elbows and hammer fists with nine seconds remaining in the round.
WINNER: Henry Cejudo by TKO at 4:51 of Round 3
Cejudo said afterward he wants to be paid like a heavyweight and wants to go up to featherweight, eventually. He said he wants to fight Dominick Cruz, Cody Garbrandt, and Urijah Faber.
This was a fantastic performance from Cejudo as he becomes a double champion and is going to be a strong contender for the fighter of the year.