UFC 238 Betting Tips, Picks and Predictions

Usually, in this part of the article, I would review how we did last week. But since I’m posting this betting tip two weeks before UFC on ESPN+ 11 I have absolutely no idea how we did! Hopefully, it went good!

I decided to skip ahead and start researching some of the fights at UFC 238 because I believe I’ve already identified a couple of very good bets and I want us to lock them in before the odds potentially decline. For this reason, if you are reading this article close to the time that UFC 238 is scheduled to start please know that the odds listed below may differ greatly from what you see at your betting website because these betting tips were published 3 weeks before the event was scheduled to take place.

Fight Betting Tip Pick
Henry Cejudo vs Marlon Moraes 2 units on Marlon Moraes to win at odds of 1.83 | -120 | 83/100 Moraes to win
Jessica Eye vs Valentina Shevchenko No bet Shevchenko to win
Donald Cerrone vs Tony Ferguson 1 unit on Donald Cerrone to win at odds of 2.45 | +145 | 29/20 Cerrone to win
Jimmie Rivera vs Petr Yan No bet Yan to win
Blagoy Ivanov vs Tai Tuivasa No bet Ivanov to win
Nina Ansaroff vs Tatiana Suarez No bet Suarez to win
Aljamain Sterling vs Pedro Munhoz No bet Munhoz to win
Alexa Grasso vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz No bet Kowalkiewicz to win
Calvin Kattar vs Ricardo Lamas 3 units on Calvin Kattar to win at odds of 1.70 | -143 | 7/10 Kattar to win
Angela Hill vs Xiaonan Yan No bet Yan to win
Bevon Lewis vs Darren Stewart No bet Lewis to win
Eddie Wineland vs Grigory Popov No bet Wineland to win
Katlyn Chookagian vs Joanna Calderwood No bet Chookagian to win

Calvin Kattar vs Ricardo Lamas Betting Tip and Prediction

Calvin Kattar was the first name that jumped out at me when I started scanning through the fights taking place at UFC 238. I felt that his technical striking, solid takedown defense, and decent ground game would be too much for Ricardo Lamas to handle. I also thought that he’d probably be a big favorite due to his sizable advantages over Lamas. To my surprise, Kattar is only a slight favorite here, which means we can still bet him and get a decent amount of value over the betting sites. I recommend you lock in this bet as soon as possible because I do expect the odds to decline as we get closer to the time of the fight.

If this fight stays standing, Kattar should dominate. Ricardo Lamas has always struggled against fluid, technical strikers and I believe that Kattar is one of the most fluid strikers in the UFC’s Featherweight division.

Kattar throws a high volume of strikes per round, and he also throws a very diverse range of strikes. He throws a much wider range than we see from most fighters in the UFC. I also love how Kattar starts fast. It doesn’t take him long to find his range. Kattar’s technical striking and the high volume of strikes he throws makes it very difficult to outwork him because he’s got the cardio to fight at a high pace for 3 rounds.

Even after almost 30 pro fights, Lamas is still quite a basic striker. He doesn’t really carry that much power in his hands, and his technique is very average. If this fight stays standing, I expect Kattar to put on a striking clinic.

Ricardo Lamas is primarily a grappler, but he’s never had very good offensive wrestling. When he does get his opponents down, he also struggles to hold them down. Calvin Kattar has excellent balance, great takedown defense and he’s very hard to hold down. Based on past performances, it will not be easy for Lamas to take Kattar down and hold him down.

We also have to take into consideration the fact that Lamas has been around for a long time. He’s now way past his prime at 38 years old and should be declining from fight to fight. In contrast, Kattar is still only 32 years old and in his prime.

I believe Kattar has the skills to keep this fight standing, and if it stays standing, he should win easily. He also has an amazing chin and a decent ground game, which makes a flash KO or submission significantly less likely.

Reasons for betting on Calvin Kattar

  • Ricardo Lamas is now 38 years old and has a lot of miles on the clock with almost 30 pro fights. He should be declining from fight to fight.
  • Calvin Kattar is still only 32 years old and should be making big improvements from fight to fight because he is still in his prime.
  • Calvin Kattar is a significantly better striker than Ricardo Lamas.
  • Calvin Kattar lands a very high number of strikes per round. This makes it difficult to outwork him.
  • Calvin Kattar has excellent cardio. He can fight at a very high pace for 3 rounds.
  • Calvin Kattar throws a very diverse range of strikes.
  • Ricardo Lamas is a very basic, predictable striker. He doesn’t really carry any power in his hands.
  • Calvin Kattar has excellent takedown defense and balance. He also does a great job of quickly popping back up to his feet when he does get taken down.
  • Calvin Kattar has a decent level of BJJ to defend himself on the ground.
  • Ricardo Lamas is not a strong offensive wrestler.

Risk Factors with betting on Calvin Kattar

  • Ricardo Lamas is from Chicago, so he’ll have home advantage on his side.
  • Ricardo Lamas is a high level grappler.
  • Ricardo Lamas has an excellent submission game.

My Betting Tip

Calvin Kattar to win

Recommended Stake

3 Units

[3% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 1.70
Moneyline = -143
Fractional = 7/10

59%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Calvin Kattar has a 59% chance of beating Ricardo Lamas based on their current odds.

70%

Our Probability

I believe that Calvin Kattar has a 70% chance of beating Ricardo Lamas based on our extensive research and analysis.

Donald Cerrone vs Tony Ferguson Betting Tip and Prediction

Tony Ferguson is returning to the Octagon less than 3 months after it went public that he had been struggling with Psychotic behaviors. I’m no Doctor, but I do know that it takes a hell of a lot longer than 3 months to overcome these kinds of issues…

In the last 12 months, Tony Ferguson has had a massive knee surgery, and he’s also dealing with some pretty substantial mental health issues. For these reasons alone, I believe that Donald Cerrone is a great bet at his current underdog odds of around 2.45 | +145 | 29/20.

Tony Ferguson has fought and beaten some of the best Lightweight fighters in the world, but I believe that Donald Cerrone is by far the most dangerous guy that he has fought up until this point in his career. I say this because no one else has possessed a combination of legit 1 shot KO power, the wrestling and ground game to cause Ferguson problems if the fight hits the mats and also the cardio to fight at a high pace for 3 rounds.

If you go back and watch all of Ferguson’s fights over the last 3 years, you’ll see that pretty much everyone he has fought has rocked, dropped or wobbled him. Anthony Pettis almost finished him at the beginning of the 2nd round, Kevin Lee dropped him in round 1, Lando Vannata almost KO’d him multiple times, and Rafael Dos Anjos had him hurt too. I strongly believe that Donald Cerrone is much more dangerous than any of those guys, and Cerrone also rarely gives his opponents a chance to recover when he has them hurt. If he hurts them standing, he can often uncork a combination to get the finish, and if he drops an opponent, he can often jump all over them and finish with a submission. He also has the kind of legit 1 shot KO power that can kill anyone in the division dead.

If this fight stays standing, I expect it to be a war. Ferguson will come forward with reckless abandon. He loves to pressure his opponents, but he also fights with his hands low and has bad striking defense. This will open him up to Cerrone’s devastating head kicks and matrix style Boxing combinations.

Another potential path to victory for Cerrone is on the ground. We have seen in the past that Cerrone is a strong wrestler with a heavy top game and a high level of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Ferguson is also a strong grappler but he doesn’t have the best takedown defense, and he’s too happy to fight off his back. If at any point Cerrone starts to struggle with Ferguson’s pressure he may be able to use Ferguson’s forward pressure against him to change levels and put Ferguson on his back.

Donald Cerrone has the skills to dominate this fight standing up, and on the ground and with there being a lot of uncertainty over Ferguson’s mental state at the moment, a bet on Cerrone at underdog odds is an absolute no brainer. But it’s essential for us not to get too aggressive here because we can’t ignore the fact that Ferguson is a tough opponent for anyone.

Historically Cerrone has started very slow, which is a big issue against someone like Ferguson, who starts very aggressively. With this being a 3 round fight, Cerrone also doesn’t have as much time to find his range and get comfortable as he would in a 5 round fight.

We have also seen Cerrone struggle against pressure fighters in the past. Ferguson puts a relentless amount of pressure on his opponents, and while Cerrone does appear to have turned a corner since the birth of his son, it’s always possible that he may turn up and have a bad night and drown under Ferguson’s pressure.

We also have to take into consideration the fact that Ferguson is a mad man, and I say that with the greatest of respect. Ferguson loves turning fights into a war of attrition, and we’ve seen Cerrone break mentally in the past when put into bad positions.

This is definitely not a safe bet, but I do believe that it is an excellent value bet when you consider all the information we have available to us right now. Do your own research and tail this bet at your own risk. There is a high % chance that this bet will lose.

Reasons for betting on Donald Cerrone

  • Tony Ferguson went through major knee surgery 13 months ago.
  • Tony Ferguson has been battling Psychotic behaviour within the last 3 months. This may have had a big impact on his training and preparation for this fight.
  • Tony Ferguson has bad striking defense. He tends to get hit a lot and fights with his hands low.
  • Tony Ferguson is very aggressive. This opens him up to being taken down and walking onto big power shots.
  • Donald Cerrone has excellent cardio and a good chin.
  • Donald Cerrone has legit 1 shot KO power in every strike.
  • Donald Cerrone is a strong offensive wrestler with a heavy top game and a high level ground game.
  • Donald Cerrone has the technical ability to dominate this fight standing up or on the ground.
  • Donald Cerrone appears to have turned a corner since the birth of his son.
  • Tony Ferguson tends to get rocked, dropped or wobbled in every fight.

Risk Factors with betting on Donald Cerrone

  • Donald Cerrone’s weight cut to 155 pounds is absolutely brutal.
  • Donald Cerrone is a slow starter and this is only a 3 round fight. Ferguson tends to start very fast.
  • Donald Cerrone struggles against pressure fighters.
  • Tony Ferguson loves to turn fights into wars. We have seen Cerrone quit when put into bad positions in the past.
  • Tony Ferguson is very unorthodox and dangerous.
  • Tony Ferguson has amazing cardio. He’s extremely tough and he has an incredible chin and ability to recover.

My Betting Tip

Donald Cerrone to win

Recommended Stake

1 Unit

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 2.45
Moneyline = +145
Fractional = 29/20

41%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Donald Cerrone has a 41% chance of beating Tony Ferguson based on their current odds.

50%

Our Probability

I believe that Donald Cerrone has a 50% chance of beating Tony Ferguson based on our extensive research and analysis.

Henry Cejudo vs Marlon Moraes Betting Tip and Prediction

Henry Cejudo is moving up a weight class from Flyweight to Bantamweight to take on a bigger, stronger opponent in Marlon Moraes. This is a winnable matchup for Cejudo, but it’s also a very tough matchup, which is the reason why I favor Moraes. At the current odds of around even money, I think Moraes is a good bet, but I also think there’s a chance that his odds will improve when the MMA Media hype machine gets into full effect. For this reason, you may want to wait and see how the odds move before you lock in your bet. I have no idea how the odds will move on this fight.

Henry Cejudo is an Olympic level wrestler, but he doesn’t have the cardio to relentlessly shoot on his opponents and grind them out wet blanket style like we see from grapplers such as Jon Fitch and Kamaru Usman. Instead, Cejudo uses his wrestling to try and steal rounds and buy himself time when he’s coming under pressure. You’ll rarely see Cejudo shoot a takedown early in the round because he doesn’t have the best top control, so he doesn’t want to give his opponents a lot of time to work back to their feet. He prefers to shoot takedowns late in rounds so that it is more likely he’ll end the round in a dominant position. This is significant because we know judges tend to score rounds in favor of the fighter who finished the round strongest.

We can’t be 100% sure that Moraes has solid takedown defense because he hasn’t fought that many high-level wrestlers up until this point in his career. There are, however, several factors to consider which suggest that he will be tough to take down and even harder to hold down. The first factor to consider is that he has a compact, muscular frame with a strong core and a low center of gravity. These types of fighters tend to be challenging to take down and hold down.

We also have to take into consideration the fact that Marlon Moraes started his career training at Nova Uniao, a gym famous for producing fighters who are almost impossible to take down. On top of that, Moraes has been the direct training partner of Frankie Edgar for many years now. Edgar is one of the best MMA wrestlers in the history of the sport and a much better MMA grappler than Cejudo. Training with a guy like Edgar every day should have prepared Moraes to face someone like Cejudo.

These are of course assumptions, but Moraes has shown flashes of great wrestling in his past fights, and we also know that he’s a super high-level Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If Cejudo does get Moraes down, I expect Moraes to be able to pop back up to his feet relatively quickly.

Henry Cejudo has made huge improvements to his striking over the last couple of years, but he still shows a glimmer of an inexperienced striker that could get him into trouble against an experienced Muay Thai based fighter like Moraes. You will often see Cejudo overreact to feints and over commit his head too much to one angle which leaves him wide open to walking onto a big KO counter. This is a big weakness when you are fighting a fast, explosive striker like Moraes who has the power and timing to KO you dead at any second.

25 minutes is a long time to spend in the Octagon with a ruthless, stone cold killer like Moraes, who may be the most dangerous KO artist in the history of the Bantamweight division. Moraes is deadly because the shots that KO you are the ones that you don’t see coming and Moraes is so fast that he can often catch opponents with lightning-fast kill shots. Moraes’ KO power is awe-inspiring because he KOs guys dead who don’t usually get KO’d. In the last couple of years, he has flatlined Raphael Assuncao, Jimmie Rivera, and Aljamain Sterling. Before fighting Moraes, Assuncao had only been KO’d ONE TIME in 31 Pro Fights. Rivera had only been KO’d ONE TIME in 24 pro fights, and Aljamain Sterling had NEVER been KO’d in almost 20 pro fights. Needless to say. Moraes is devastating.

Moraes’ ability to land kill shots is one of the reasons why I favor him here. His current odds of around 1.83 | -120 | 83/100 carry an Implied Probability of approximately 55%, which means we can comfortably cap him at 60% due to his ability to finish anyone in the division and still gain a nice 5% margin over the betting sites. If Moraes can keep this fight standing, I’d give him closer to a 70% chance of winning this fight, but we’ll stick with 60% now to be conservative since we haven’t seen his takedown defense tested that much in a competitive environment.

If this fight stays standing I do expect it to be close, Moraes is sometimes quite passive and struggles to put his stamp on rounds, but he is much faster and hits much harder than Cejudo.

This is one of those fights where skill for skill I could see it being quite close, but I don’t give Cejudo much of a chance of finishing Moraes, whereas I believe Moraes could KO Cejudo dead at any second or catch him in a submission if the fight goes to the ground. For those reasons I believe Moraes is worth a small bet here because he can win the fight by decision by being the better fighter on the night and he can also finish the fight anywhere. I feel like Cejudo’s only realistic path to victory is grinding out a decision, which won’t be easy because Moraes is a nightmare standing up and on the ground.

Reasons for betting on Marlon Moraes

  • Marlon Moraes began his career training at Nova Uniao. A gym that is famous for producing fighters who are almost impossible to take down and even harder to hold down.
  • Marlon Moraes has shown flashes of excellent wrestling and takedown defense throughout his career.
  • Marlon Moraes is a very high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt.
  • Marlon Moraes has been the direct training partner of Frankie Edgar for many years now. Frankie Edgar is one of the best MMA grapplers in the history of MMA. He is a great training partner to help prepare Moraes for someone like Cejudo.
  • Marlon Moraes has legit 1 shot KO power in every strike.
  • Henry Cejudo overreacts to feints and over commits to different angles, leaving him wide open to walking onto a KO strike.
  • Henry Cejudo does not have the cardio to wet blanket Moraes for 5 rounds.
  • Moraes will be the bigger, stronger man since Cejudo is stepping up from Flyweight to take this fight.
  • Marlon Moraes has the skills to finish Cejudo standing up or on the ground.
  • Marlon Moraes has vicious leg kicks and Cejudo stands very heavy on his lead leg.

Risk Factors with betting on Marlon Moraes

  • Henry Cejudo has Olympic level wrestling.
  • We’ve never seen Moraes fight a strong wrestler.
  • Cejudo is making huge improvements from fight to fight.
  • Moraes is wild and reckless at times.
  • Henry Cejudo has world class chain wrestling.
  • Sometimes Moraes can be a bit passive standing. He struggles to put his stamp on rounds.

My Betting Tip

Marlon Moraes to win

Recommended Stake

2 Units

[2% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 1.83
Moneyline = -120
Fractional = 83/100

55%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Marlon Moraes has a 55% chance of beating Henry Cejudo based on their current odds.

60%

Our Probability

I believe that Marlon Moraes has a 60% chance of beating Henry Cejudo based on our extensive research and analysis.

Allsopp
I'm a Professional Gambler from the UK. I specialize in betting on MMA. I've got 1 kid, a Shih Tzu and I've been making money from gambling for around 8 years now.

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