The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 238 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.
UFC 238 on Saturday in Chicago was a tremendous Ultimate Fighting Championship event full of remarkable fights and surprising performances, including a few notable upsets. Four underdogs emerged victorious on the 13-fight card, and they supply the material for this edition of Beating the Books.
Henry Cejudo (+145)
The main event saw Henry Cejudo put on an incredible performance, as he finished Marlon Moraes by third-round technical knockout to become the new UFC bantamweight champion. Moraes came out fast and strong and appeared to be in control of the fight, appearing to win the first round with his vicious standup attack. However, Cejudo made smart adjustments between and used more aggressive striking in Round 2. The third round was where “The Messenger” truly shined, as he took advantage of a fatigued Moraes and put him away in devastating fashion. Cejudo managed to batter Moraes with knees from the clinch, eventually dragged him to the mat and pounded him out. Cejudo is now a rare simultaneous two-division UFC champion. He cashed as a +145 underdog.
Blagoy Ivanov (+140)
In a battle between heavyweight hopefuls, Ivanov took a unanimous decision from Tai Tuivasa after three grueling rounds. Tuivasa was strong out of the gate and actually wobbled Ivanov, but an early knockdown seemed to turn the tide in the Bulgarian’s favor. Tuivasa appeared to tire after the first round, allowing Ivanov to outland him on the feet and grind him against the fence to take home the decision. The odds on the former World Series of Fighting champion closed at +140.
Darren Stewart (+150)
Stewart managed to nullify the striking attacks of Bevon Lewis and outlast him to a unanimous decision on the undercard. The fight was largely devoid of the explosive standup exchanges most anticipated, but Stewart did enough in the clinch and from range to get his hand raised. “The Dentist” closed as a +150 underdog, making the British middleweight the biggest underdog on the card to cash.
Katlyn Chookagian (-105)
Chookagian opened the show, used her superior volume striking skills to outpoint Joanne Calderwood and took home a unanimous decision. It was a closely contested match from start to finish, but Chookagian appeared to do a little more on the feet to warrant the nod. The victory likely put her in line for a title fight at 125 pounds. Chookagian closed as a slight -105 underdog.
Adam Martin is a mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2011. He is currently the lead odds analyst for Sherdog.com, as well as the lead staff writer for MMAOddsbreaker.com. Adam is also the co-host of “The Parting Shot Podcast” on iTunes. His favorite fight of all-time is Dan Henderson-Mauricio Rua, and he wishes Pride Fighting Championships never died. Adam is based out of Toronto, and he is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Centennial College. Get in touch with him on Twitter at @MMAdamMartin.