Tony Ferguson, Petr Yan to Earn Big Wins at UFC 238

Tony Ferguson participates in the open workout for UFC

Tony Ferguson participates in the open workout for UFC

UFC 238 is almost here and with it comes one of the most exciting mixed martial arts main card’s we’ve seen in a while.

At the top end of the card, we have a duo of exciting title fights. Two of the best small guys in the business will battle in the main event when Henry Cejudo clashes with Marlon Moraes for the UFC Bantamweight Championship. You can read our Cejudo vs. Moraes best bets here.

In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko is set to face Jessica Eye. Shevchenko is regarded as one of the very best females in the sport today, and she’ll be defending her title for the first time.

Also on the card is a collection of other exceptional matchups including Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone.

We preview that fight and more here before Saturday, June 8, so that you’re up to date with all of the best betting advice for UFC 238.

Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone

Saturday, June 8 – 10:00 pm (ET) /  2:00am (GMT)

It’s being called “The People’s Main Event,” and for good reason; Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone is shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated non-title fights in recent memory.

On one hand, we have Tony Ferguson, one of the most dangerous lightweight fighters in the UFC today. Ferguson’s on an 11-fight winning streak that includes victories against top contenders in the division including Rafael dos Anjos, Kevin Lee, and Anthony Pettis. But despite his winning ways, he’s yet to face-off for a shot at the lightweight title, mostly due to many unfortunate complications that have kept major fights from eventuating. There’s no doubt he’ll earn his shot at the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier if he defeats Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone this weekend.

“Cowboy” is on a roll lately and it’s kind of unexpected. It wasn’t that long ago when Cerrone managed a fantastic four-fight winning streak, only to then disappear into the shadows again by losing four of his next five bouts. Recently, however, Cerrone has scored three big wins in a row and is coming off two victories in the lightweight division.

Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone – Best Odds
Fighter Best Odds Site
Tony Ferguson -145 Mybookie
Donald Cerrone +128 BetOnline

For as incredibly dangerous Tony Ferguson can be, he’s not a perfect fighter by any means. He’s strong, powerful, and attacks from all kinds of crazy angles. These attributes and abilities combined with his incredible pace and pressure make Tony Ferguson a difficult fighter to defeat. However, there are definitely opportunities there for a wise opponent to land heavy shots on his chin, as many have done in the past.

Donald Cerrone is known to be an exciting fighter but he is typically wanting to sit back and engage in a kicking game with his opponent. From range, Cerrone can slam kicks into the head, body, and legs, but he is at his most dangerous when he is able to string combinations of strikes together. He’s become much better in recent fights at stopping an aggressive opponent, using an intercepting knee to crush the mid-section of anyone who tries to advance recklessly against him.

One of the most interesting aspects of this fight overall, however, is not the stand-up but the grappling. Both Cerrone and Ferguson are excellent grapplers with a fine submission base. An unexpected knockdown and some fast scrambles could present unique submission opportunities for either fighter.

Yet, it’s most likely that we won’t even see the grappling at play. Ferguson’s constant pressure should be enough to disallow Cerrone from planting his feet and working his striking over the course of these three rounds. Ferguson’s a terrible matchup for most fighters in the UFC today; unfortunately for “Cowboy,” his style doesn’t fare particularly well against what Ferguson can bring to the table.

Bet on Tony Ferguson to win:  -145 at Mybookie

Jimmie Rivera makes his entry to the UFC Octagon

Jimmie Rivera vs. Petr Yan

Saturday, June 8 – 9:30 pm (ET) /  1:30am (GMT)

At UFC 238, Petr Yan will be entering the cage for the fifth time in under 12 months with the UFC. Yan joined the promotion in June last year and has already racked up four impressive victories. In his most recent fight, Yan made easy work of John Dodson over three rounds to earn his best unanimous decision victory to date. Yan is already a true contender for the title in the bantamweight division and he has his eyes set on taking the title from whoever wins the main event at UFC 238.

Jimmie Rivera’s now required to make a stand at UFC 238. It wasn’t that long ago when Rivera was highly regarded, much like Yan, and was enjoying a tremendous winning streak that dated back to 2008. However, Rivera’s run came to an end at the hands of Marlon Moraes – who will be challenging for the title this weekend – at UFC Fight Night 131. In his most recent fight, he lost a unanimous decision to Aljamain Sterling at UFC on ESPN 1.

Jimmie Rivera vs. Petr Yan – Best Odds
Fighter Best Odds Site
Jimmie Rivera +275 Mybookie
Petr Yan -330 BetOnline

Petr Yan’s the favorite as we approach this bantamweight battle at UFC 238. A highly-skilled striker, Yan has walked down his opposition in the UFC and overloaded them with strikes and pressure. Along the way, he’s been clipped by strong punches from Dodson and others, but he’s remained durable and kept up his dominant efforts through all rounds.

In some ways, Rivera does represent the toughest stand-up test that Yan has had to face. Rivera is a skilled outfighter, as well, and his recent record isn’t necessarily indicative of his best performances or potential ability. Rivera failed to let his hands go against Aljamain Sterling and admitted to feeling ‘off’ that night. A similar performance here would see him likely be stopped by the freight train that is Petr Yan, however, an improved effort could see him stick with Yan and make this a competitive battle. Unfortunately, that’s an uncertainty that we’re wanting to stay clear of, and instead, we’ll back Yan to win, as he should do so decisively.

Bet on Petr Yan to win: -330 at BetOnline

Tai Tuivasa strikes Andrei Arlovski

Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov

Saturday, June 8 – 9:00 pm (ET) /  1:00am (GMT)

Tai Tuivasa’s undefeated streak came to an end at UFC Fight Night 142 in December last year when he was stopped by Junior dos Santos in the second round in Adelaide, Australia. Tuivasa stepped into the cage that night as a 10-0 professional who had managed nine stoppage victories in his ten wins. He’s now 3-1 in the UFC with previous wins over Andrei Arlovski, Rashad Coulter, and Cyril Asker.

At UFC 238, Tuivasa will be facing Blagoy Ivanov, another heavyweight who has recently suffered defeat against Junior dos Santos. Ivanov lost to dos Santos in July last year before bouncing back with a win over Ben Rothwell at UFC on ESPN+ 4 in March. He’ll enter UFC 238 with a professional record of 17-2.

Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov – Best Odds
Fighter Best Odds Site
Tai Tuivasa -132 BetOnline
Blagoy Ivanov +110 Bovada

Tai Tuivasa’s a bit of a wrecking ball, but he hasn’t shown much talent outside of earning quick finishes in the UFC so far. He’s tough, rather explosive and has a good array of strikes in his arsenal including devastating knees and elbows from close-range. However, he is known to fade during fights and has noticeable holes in his grappling game.

If Ivanov can get his grappling going, he’s almost a lock to defeat Tuivasa at UFC 238. The problem, though, is that Ivanov has rarely used his grappling advantages in the UFC so far. Instead, he opts to sit back and engage in a slow-paced kickboxing fight that often ends up with him losing round after round.

Ivanov has better tools and more ways to win in this one. He makes for an excellent underdog bet at UFC 238.

Bet on Blagoy Ivanov to win:  +110 at Bovada

Best Bets for UFC 238

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UFC 238 – Best Bets
Bet Best Odds Site
Tony Ferguson to win -145 Mybookie
Petr Yan to win -330 BetOnline
Blagoy Ivanov to win +110 Bovada