UFC 238 takes place June 8 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois, and also the card lately had a range of new bouts added to the card. Below are my initial thoughts on them.
Aljamain Sterling vs. Pedro Munhoz, UFC 238
Top bantamweight contenders Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz are set to meet at UFC 238. The bout has been first reported by ESPN. Sterling (17-3) is 9-3 in the UFC and is now riding a three-fight win streak that includes a decision win over Jimmie Rivera his last time out. Munhoz (18-3, 1 NC) is 8-3, 1 NC and can also be riding a three-fight win series which contains an incredible KO over Cody Garbrandt in his final bout. Though Sterling has looked great lately and is finally starting to live up to his potential, Munhoz’ win over Garbrandt showed that he’s an elite bantamweight in the game, and he deserves to be the favorite in this fight.
Jimmie Rivera vs. Petr Yan, UFC 238
At the same time, bantamweights Jimmie Rivera and Petr Yan will struggle UFC 238. Rivera (22-3) is a remarkable 6-2 overall from the UFC but is coming off of a decision loss to Aljamain Sterling. Yan (12-1) is 4-0 at the UFC and many recently defeated John Dodson by choice. Rivera has been a solid bantamweight for many years within the Octagon but using a 1-2 record over his last few fights is starting to show serious signs of a decrease, whereas Yan seems like he could be a future champion at 135lbs. I would anticipate Yan for a big favorite in this bout.
Ricardo Lamas vs. Calvin Kattar, UFC 238
An intriguing featherweight bout pits Ricardo Lamas against Calvin Kattar. The news of this bout was first reported by The Chicago Tribune. Lamas (19-7) is 10-5 overall at the UFC and is coming off of a TKO win over Darren Elkins. Kattar (19-3) is currently 3-1 in the UFC and most recently defeated Chris Fishgold by TKO. Lamas was a fantastic, underrated featherweight for many years inside the Octagon, but Kattar has appeared amazing in every fight he has had from the UFC save because of his decision loss to Renato Moicano. I would need to slightly favor Kattar to win this fight.
Felice Herrig vs. Xiaonan Yan, UFC 238
Women’s strawweights collide as Felice Herrig is set to take on Xiaonan Yan. Herrig (14-8) is a Chicago-area native who is 5-3 overall in the UFC, but she’s coming off of back-to-back decision losses to Michelle Waterson and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Yan (10-0, 1 NC) is 3-0 so far in the UFC but her greatest win is probably over Kailin Curran. Yan is a good prospect at 115lbs, but I’m not ready to write off Herrig only yet, and I would need to prefer her to win this battle.
Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov, UFC 238
And finally, heavyweights Tai Tuivasa and Blagoy Ivanov will clash at UFC 238. Tuivasa (8-1) is 3-1 in the UFC but is coming from a brutal TKO loss to Junior dos Santos. Ivanov (17-2, 1 NC) is 1-1 at the UFC with a choice loss to JDC and a decision win over Ben Rothwell. This resembles a coin flip, but based on Tuivasa’s youth advantage and KO power I’d marginally lean towards him to get the win.
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